Jarkko Martikainen – Hyvää yötä, hyvät ihmiset

has maintained surprisingly good quality in his work both in his
band YUP and his solo career. Martikainen’s latest offering, a live album
consisting of songs he’s performing accompanying himself with an acoustic
guitar, is – for the most part – no exception to the rule.

He is one
of the sharpest lyricists in the current Finnish rock scene, and a very good
also at composing songs and performing them on stage. Still, it is somewhat of
a surprise that the acoustic versions of the songs work so well, since one
would think they would need the elaborate arrangements YUP and Martikainen are
famous for.

Live albums, just like
live gigs, are very much about co-operation with the audience and the
performer(s). Hyvää yötä, hyvät ihmiset is, in a refreshing way, very different
from live albums recorded in huge arenas, where you can only hear thousands of
anonymous people screaming. Here, people shout out their comments and wishes
for songs Martikainen should play, and he answers them most usually in a very
funny way. The record is very warm and intimate. People seem to be quite drunk,
but that’s the way it usually is in Finnish rock clubs.

The only drawback of the
album is that after only two solo albums, Martikainen may not have enough of
different songs for a well balanced live album. Muovailuvahaa is a previously
unreleased track, and Elegia is Timo Rautiainen cover (although the lyrics are
penned by Martikainen as well). All the other songs are from Martikainen’s two
solo albums.

This isn’t really the same
thing as seeing Jarkko Martikainen live, but live albums can rarely replace the
real thing. However, as a live album, it is different from the norm in a nice
way, and as a proof that Jarkko Martikainen is one of the most talented Finnish
songwriters, it works rather well.