Love is dirty work. Both the CEO of an energy company and the artist know this fact.
Dirty Work is the second album of singer-songwriter Jessica Riippa from Nedervetil(, Finland), but the first album published under the name La Riippa Group.
Green plants embrace the construction site for the nuclear power plant in Pyhäjoki on the album cover. There is also a track called “Talvivaara” on the album.
The references to the environmental and building farces in recent times are original, but adequate: if anything binds a nuclear reactor worth over seven million euro, an unfortunate mine contaminating several hectares of soil in Kajana and love together, it’s absurdity.
In this sense Dirty Work is addressing human issues and themes. Doubt, insincerity and fears, but also longing, caring and lust. The tracks on the album describe how conflicts between humans mostly are due to insufficient communication – whether the parties are two lovers or a mining company and the mass media. Either we are not capable of understanding or we simply don’t want to understand.
The human mind is clever enough to find explanations and ways to diminish the desolation.
It is indeed a very apt choice of Riippa to on Dirty Work describe her feelings in both English and her own mother tongue, the Swedish dialect of Nedervetil. What’s private becomes public and vice versa. The choice of language also connects Riippa to a very recent and growing phenomena; songwriters from Ostrobothnia creating new music in their own dialects.
Riippa has a recognizable voice, representing fiery drama. The band consists of six members and their sound one is able to hear the creaking of the stage of the local pub, the plucking of various tango rhythms and the purling of the Nordic-style jazz. The aery arrangements carry the stories written by Riippa in an easy-going way. The lyrics describe the sides of the emotional life, which exceed the permitted pH-value levels.
To dredge such a sediment can indeed be described as “dirty work”. It’s a risky and dangerous game and we will suffer from the consequences of the mistakes for years, maybe decades. Even so, we humans still repeatedly take the same risks, because we are, well, pretty absurd.
Maybe we believe that in the end, something new, green and stronger will always grow out the ashes and devastation. It just takes time.