Reviews

Album Review: Mikko Joensuu Finds The Christmas Spirit in “Amen 2”


The holidays are very beautiful, weird time. They are not only the periods of the year then we are most celebratory of life but also self-reflective, inducing an emotional clash. How do you confront the things in life that did not go as planned at the same time of celebrating life, itself? In Amen 1 mercurial Finnish talent Mikko Joensuu faced the inner doubts and deprecations that can happen when you decide to face your spirit at its lowest, but in Amen 2 he decides to rise that spirit up.

Like in Christmas, Amen 2 is Mikko Joensuu’s decision to take a break from the inner turmoil of Amen 1, and rediscover the best of life and himself. With ornate, stringed instrumentals Amen 2 makes the soul appear like it actually is from Heaven. It is as if Joensuu has made it his personal goal to see his spirit like a plush circle of lightened clouds like, when you are in a plane and you look out the window to see the sky. For Joensuu, that sky is in all of us. By arranging complex, multi-layered chords, he builds the epic nature of being alive. which makes “Amen 2” feel like a giant “Aha” moment.

Have you ever had an instant where you stopped and fully realized that you were alive? Yet, not in a fleeting sense, but in way that makes you sit and understand the scope of being a living, human person. Joensuu’s voice captures those small, rare moments of “bigness” with a voice that feels as fragile and gorgeous as a blossoming sunflower; he sings his notes brightly and blooming, but with consciousness that his petals can fall. It is as if his voice carries an “emotional quake” that ruptures as he tries to rise above negativity into that illustrious, ambiguous positivity that is in all of us. Like his  vast, powerful instrumentals, his vocals also provide the sense of a spirit achieving its highest self, especially spiritually/ religiously.

Christmas may have become more commercialized, but Joensuu’s Amen 2 is a subtle reminder to its
spiritual life. While many celebrate Christmas as the birth of Jesus, for Joensuu, Jesus’s coming to the world is also the entrance of the best human being that ever came. Whether you believe in Jesus or not, his tale signifies that there is a sphere within humanity where an individual can be, feel, and act like the highest version of itself. If in Amen 1 Joensuu doubted he could attain such a sphere in Amen 2 he believes he can, and writes and sings his songs like a man cleansing his soul. The result is a record that reminds people that Christmas is a time to celebrate and reflect, but it is also a time to refresh our spirits for the next year.

I highly recommend Amen 2 for those that want to hear music that pulls out all the darkness we can carry and elevates it. You feel lighter from Amen 2, in part, because Mikko Joensuu does, as well. Thus, buy Amen 2 if for Christmas you want to feel and learn spiritual rejuvenation. For More Information on Mikko Joensuu Click Here.