After a long gap of nine years, former The Third and the Mortal vocalist Kari Rueslåtten has come back with her fifth solo album Time to Tell. Beautiful soft folky melodies provide a gentle background for the singers incredible voice. As soft, mesmerizing and ethereal as ever, it’s a great performance from Kari, including a reworked piano led version of The Third and the Mortal’s Why So Lonely, twenty years on, featuring Nightwish’s Tuomas Holopainen on the piano. While she sings in her typical stunning fashion, the more minimalist instrumental approach doesn’t recreate the mystical all-enveloping atmosphere of the original, even though its still an admirable version. And perhaps this is the album’s one shortcoming. The songs are gentle and pleasant, but with Kari’s incredible voice, a more ethereal atmosphere would suit her better – you can’t get quite as lost in some of the songs as you would hope. That said, it’s still a very good album for what it is, containing lovely soft folk songs with her voice pervading through – the music’s gentle and pleasant, if a little too much so. Rainy Days Ahead and Wintersong are the highlights, and they are both absolutley stunning – the former is absolutely beautiful and serene, sung so sublimely, it’s hard not to fall in love with it. Kari is touring in the winter with Anneke Van Giersbergen and Liv Kristine as The Sirens, and I cannot wait!