Matti Johannes Koivu ystävineen – Topsi ja tohtori Koirasson

the fact I consider myself a fan of Matti Johannes Koivu’s work both in his
solo career and the band Ultramariini, I am probably not the right person to
review this album. No person whose age is a two-digit number is, since Topsi ja
tohtori Koirasson
is an album for children.

Children’s music has often
been criticized – and for a reason – for underestimating it’s audience. That’s
not the case here – it’s actually quite surprising, how much this sounds like
Koivu’s “adult” records. Koivu and his band perform their folk-influenced pop
songs with great passion and care, like they always do. For example, the track
Räksytän could be, at least with a bit different lyric, from one of his other

What make this suitable
for kids are, indeed, the lyrics and the story, both penned by author Juha
, and the album is actually meant to accompany the book he has made with
his wife Maija Itkonen, also entitled Topsi ja tohtori Koirasson. Juha Itkonen
has proved himself to be a very good author with his two novels aimed at the
adult audience, and the story here – about a dog afraid of the sound of buzzing
– is genuinely touching.

The story is told both in
the songs and in the narrative parts, which works very well. Taru Kivinen’s
narration empathizes beautifully the different elements of the story, and the
same goes for the musical parts. Besides Koivu’s band, the album features many
guests, of whom the most interesting must be Jarkko Martikainen in the role of
doctor Koirasson.

There are many reasons why
an adult would like to be a kid again. Topsi ja tohtori Koirasson is certainly
one of them. And any parent looking for children’s music that treats it’s
audience with respect and integrity cannot go wrong with this album.