Radio Creme BruleePoets Of The Fall prove that Rock is "far from dead"
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Poets Of The Fall prove that Rock is “far from dead”

19 November 2012 5 Comments
This blog belongs to Radio Creme Brulee – an internet music radio station that broadcasts globally.

“Rock And Roll is dead”. This is a comment you hear every now and then when indulging in a conversation about music – especially when music aficionados are part of that conversation. Rock music, to many of these folks is reminiscent of a time that has been long gone. The rock tradition has been rooted largely in the US and the UK. That would explain why fans do not feel the need to look beyond the boundaries of these two countries – and as a result, are truly missing out.

Scandinavia has been the birthplace of some very superior and sophisticated songwriting for decades. Some “larger than life” international acts have hailed from this part of the world. Noteworthy examples include ABBA, a-ha, and Roxette. Hence, it really should not be a surprise that modern rock’s saviors are from Finland.

Blending atmospheric sounds, hard-hitting guitar riffs, and strong hook-laden melodies with a rocky edge that is neither harsh nor noisy, Finnish band Poets Of The Fall has hit on a sound that ought to be the template for commercial modern rock music. Some critics have categorized their music as being “ambient rock”. That might be a bit of a miscategorization. Ambient and atmospheric sounds have been used as embellishments for the music but certainly do not constitute the core of the music. Each one of the band’s albums is an invigorating cocktail of hard-rock tracks and softer-edged melodic tracks thus catering to hard-rock purists as well as the pop fanatics that enjoy the occasional flirtation with rock. The band’s music is like an adrenalin injection that will make your heart and emotions soar. Lead singer Marko Saaresto embodies a distinct look and voice that puts him in the same league as magnetic rock frontmen such as Michael Hutchence, Bono, and Sting.

So why is this band rock music’s best kept secret? Well, for starters, the band’s singles are not featured on terrestrial radio in some of the world’s top music markets. This is despite the fact that their music is current and relevant while also fitting comfortably within the realms of commercially viable rock radio.

Second, the band is NOT on the roster for some of the world’s biggest music festivals (Glastonbury, Coachella, SXSW, Roskilde Festival etc.) This is a shame – especially since their music is meant to be experienced in arenas and they are an amazing live act. Fortunately, the band is following the lead of Depeche Mode and building a “live” following in countries where most global pop/rock acts have not managed to establish a live presence. This strategy helped “New Wave Gods” Depeche Mode move out of rival Duran Duran’s shadow in the 90s and also cross over to a younger generation of fans.

Third (and this is my only real criticism of the band) is that the band do not pick the most radio-worthy tracks as singles. This oversight is exemplified on their latest album “Temple Of Thought”. The album’s lead single is a slow rock ballad called “Cradled in Love”. While the song is great, it is not the track that was practically created for radio. That lead-single-worthy track is “The Distance”. The song’s electric guitar intro alone has you hooked and that is just the preamble to around four minutes of absolute pop/rock bliss. In the modern era of music, there is a lot less room for experimentation as far as the choice of an album’s singles are concerned. Irish rock gods U2 learned that the hard way when they released “Get On Your Boots” as the lead single of their “No Line On The Horizon” album. Not only did it serve as a very poor showcase of the album but it also adversely affected the sales (and hence the chart position) of the album’s second and insanely brilliant single “Magnificent”.

If the Poets could take steps to change their current “visibility” dynamic, they really could be a potent force in today’s global music scene. For those of you that have not had the privilege of listening to music by this supremely talented band, here are three full-length tracks to get you started on your path to discovery of Poets Of The Fall.

The Distance




5 Responses to "Poets Of The Fall prove that Rock is “far from dead”"

  1. TheScapegoat says:

    First of all,it’s a great thing that you’re doing(by playing POTF)Respect!!
    Secondly,I’d like to point out that Cradled In Love might not be good 4 the radio but it was definitely an ideal choice to release it as the first single…All my friends those who didn’t had a big interest in them, got stimulated by this track and the album *Magic*…

  2. @The Scapegoat: Thank you so much for your comment. The rationale for our assertion on the single choice was made on the assumption that the single is released for radio airplay. Hence, we picked on the band a little for going Cradled In Love first – especially since “The Distance” has immense crossover potential to pop fanatics. We’ve been playing the band’s music for years but only once we featured “The Distance” did we “convert” a bunch of non-fans and skeptics to fans of the band. No other promotion needed to be done. The song sold itself. Thanks once again for the comment. Hope you enjoyed the article.

  3. Poets of the Fall says:

    We’d also like to thank you for a great article! Greetings from Germany, where our first headliner tour has just started!

    About the single choice: even in today’s global world, singles (for radios at least) are released separately in each country. So far during our career, we have released singles “officially” only in Finland, plus some smaller releases in other countries like Germany. Doing a proper single release in a given country includes looking at our previous releases, how they did on the radio, then carefully picking and choosing a song, sending it to radios, doing all kinds of promo, etc. We are sure you know all this, but being an indie band, so far we have been able to do this only in Finland (and to some degree in Germany). Each country has a different taste and different kind of radios, and you usually need a local promoter to help pick the right single for the local radios and help with the right kind of promo.

    In any case, we dare to claim that “Cradled in Love” was the perfect first single for the Finnish radios: the song spent several weeks in the top 5 of Finnish airplay charts. We wholeheartedly agree that for example “The Distance” might be a great single choice in some other country, but we still have some way to go before we reach that stage. But looking at how well things are right now going here in Germany, we are confident that we can break outside Finland too, sooner or later.

    Again, a big thanks to you & your great radio channel!

  4. @PoetsOfTheFall: No amount of advertising sponsorships or affiliate commissions give us the level of exhilaration we feel right now as we read your comment. We live for moments like these. We’re humbled and quite flattered that you would take the time to comment on our article in the midst of your tour in Germany!

    Thank you so much for taking the time for explaining the rationale for the release of “Cradled in Love” as your album’s lead single. The fact that the official release was planned with Finland in mind clarifies the basis for your decision. Based on the chart performance of the track in Finland, it obviously was a wise decision.

    On some level, our perspective on choices of singles is driven largely by the fact that we look at all music from a “pop lens” as opposed to a “rock lens”. Radio Creme Brulee is still very much a largely “pop” station and hence we are always looking at songs that are best suited to cross over to the pop fanatic. Despite the fact that we broadcast globally, it is true is that we tend to focus on how our American listeners will respond to the music – since a majority of our listener base is in the US. We’ve played your music ever since we launched back in early 2007. The listener ratings for your songs were good but it was only after we featured “The Distance” on high-rotation that we started seeing some absurd “crossover”. We got tweets from our “pop fanatic” listeners about the song and the song topped our airplay charts for weeks at a stretch. From our perspective, that is a good thing since it confirms our assertion that the conventional boundaries of musical genres are way more fluid than most people think they are.

    Thank you for giving us a great album (i.e. Temple Of Thought) to work with this year. It was nice to have a high-quality assortment of tracks to pick our high-rotation tracks from. You folks have a promising future.

    Last, but not least, good luck for the rest of your tour. We’re eternally grateful for your patronage and support!

  5. TheScapegoat says:

    Thank you Poets for supporting me (though indirectly) 🙂
    Will always remain a true supporter…

    And @Radio Creme Brulee -Of course I liked the article and as I said before,I really didn’t saw their first release from the radio’s point of view but as a song that gives us the idea of the next album .And now as Poets have explained in detail,there’s no confusion…
    And it’s a great thing to share the same screen with Poets.Thanks 4 that too!!

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