Pekka "PJ" Rautiainen has just released his debut solo album, Secret Isle. As the name sounds, he is from Finland. After releasing two albums with House Of Mirrors on Escape Music he deside to go solo. HOM was a truly typical Scandi AOR sounding band with lots of heavy keyboards and melodic choruses. After leaving HOM he has been working on his solo album with producer Tuomo Vähä-Pesola and offers a wonderful Westcoast / AOR album with pop influences in the style of Urban Tale, Heart Play, Crossfade and some Toto influences. This album will surprise many who listens to Westcoast because PJ has delivered a strong album in a true Westcoast stylet.
On this album he has been helped out by some of the best musicians in Finland as Havana Black drummer Anssi Nykänen. The record opens with Secret Isle that´s a wonderful WC/AOR song with beautiful melodies and a strong chorus. "Falling For You" reminiscent of Chicago mixed with Toto. "On Every Time When It Rains" has great dut-dut keyboards in it and a strong AOR-chorus. "This Burden" is an awesome mid-tempo AOR-song that makes me think of Mark Spiro in his best moments. There are some songs that does not achieve the same quality as those above but the ones I have mentioned are top-notch WC. This is a tip for the fans of Westcoast and which has a little bit of light AOR influences. Strong debut album.