It wouldn't be unfair to say, especially in the last 20 years, that some of the best and most refreshing realities of Blues and Blues/Rock have arrived from Scandinavia and one of the torchbearers of such an inspiring movement, without a shadow of a doubt, is Finnish singer/songwriter Micke Bjorklof.
Bjorklof has repeatedly fallen into the radar of Bluebird Reviews through recent years, showing always, together with his trusted band of brothers called Blue Strip, an artistic drive and a vision second to none, matched beautifully by his many skills as a singer, songwriter and as a multi-instrumentalist.
As it happened for millions of music artists around the world, the 2020 pandemic hit hard on Bjorklof and Blue Strip's unstoppable rise into the music business too, just when the Finnish collective's popularity was reaching new highs, especially after the release of their acclaimed 2018's live album called Twenty-Five Live At Blues Baltica and his 2020 solo effort called Let The Fire Lead, the latter released with his long time fellow friend and outstanding Blue Strip's guitarist Lefty Leppanen.
Fortunately, though, even if the pandemic stopped the touring aspect of the music business, something that is considered the real livelyhood for Blues and Blues/Rock artists in these days and age, that didn't stop Bjorklof to look at the world surrounding him, focusing on writing new material and arrangements and touching on topics that, perhaps, the long, forced break from touring brought to the surface, like the ageing process in one's life, loneliness or the fragility of relationships between men and women, among others.
The outcome of this intense working process resulted in a brand new record called Colors Of Jealousy, an album that showcases 11 new songs which, although some may consider lyrically dark, it actually reveals a songwriter at the peak of his inspiration, thanks to a writing style that points straight to a theme with emotional depth and meaning but without sounding heavy, at any point of the album.
As a singer, Bjorklof also gets better and better after each passing record. His vocal performances throughout the whole of Colors Of Jealousy are always strong and delivered with the right consistency, an aspect that shines especially on songs like Feel It In My Bones, Get Out and the album's title-track Colors Of Jealousy, among many more.
When it comes to the more sonic aspect of Bjorklof & Blue Strip's new album, the whole Finnish collective is absolutely spot on, working as a magical musical clockwork exuding remarkable interplay and precision on all of the record's songs, which showcase a very solid and well measured blend of Rock, Blues, Americana and Folk, finding even the time to pay a touching tribute, musically speaking, to the tradition of the Chicago Blues of the 60's and 70's, through a very well crafted song called Thought You Were Mine.
Colors Of Jealousy's success that the album is gaining worldwide so far, after few weeks since its release, it doesn't come as a surprise for our website. More than the Colors Of Jealousy, Bjorklof & Blue Strip's new record shows the enormous colours of artistic depth that Bjorklof keeps on putting on each of his releases, together with his musical compadres Blue Strip, confirming once more that not even a worldwide pandemic can stop talent, passion and unconditional love for music, when it's true and genuine.
Colors Of Jealousy is out now and it is available to be purchased on Hokahey Records