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cover by Riipinen

After the (excellent but unrepresentative) debut album and a series of singles with cover songs, in 1980 Se released Pahaa unta?, an album full of great originals, songs that were better in line with the stuff they played live. People who discovered Se from Pohjalla compilation and liked or loved their songs Ei asfaltti liiku and Peilit, were probably surprised, some possibly even disappointed when Se's first album ...ja me tehtiin rakkautta came out, but those who had the patience to see what came next were rewarded with a future classic.

There isn't a single mediocre track on the A side: Pahaa unta starts the album with a infectious drive, and is followed by Kyynelet and Anna mun olla with a somewhat unflattering yet funny story. Kun valot sammuu is possibly the best track on the album. If only more people could create melodies like that. If you think there are even better songs on the album than that, you're probably thinking of the next one, Varjot. It's hauntingly beautiful, just Yari's piano and vocals. The song and the story builds towards the end, and with guitar joining in, just flies away into the clouds. There are great songs on the B side as well, but if the album is played on repeat, some of the B side tracks are probably the first ones to be dropped from the playlist.

Pahaa unta? or Se in general never sold millions nor became a household name, but that doesn't change the fact that Pahaa unta? is a real classic album. Luckily it has been available almost without interruption ever since its original release (in CD format from 1989), making it possible for new generations to discover this great piece of work.

(Note: this review was written for Johanna LP)

text by Jarkko Kuivanen
Johanna LP
Johanna CD