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Run With The Pack
(Frontiers Records - 2018)
This is Issa's fifth album, for Run With The Pack the Norwegian rock queen teamed up with Alessandro del Veccio (keyboards & production / e.g. Hardline, Jørn, Silent Force), DGM guitarist Simone Mularoni, bassist Andrea ToWer Torricini (Vision Divine) and drummer Marco die Salvia (Kee Of Hearts). And it seems that it was a good move! The guys deliver the perfect playground for her vocals and as they are coming from progressive metal bands they add a dash prog to Issa's melodic rock. And songs like the opener Am I Losin' You and the title track Run With The Pack get a metallic edge
An AORish tune is How Long which reminds me a bit of Robin Back, just the heavy riffs give it a more metallic sound.
Slowly kicks off The Sound Of Yesterday, a little later it becomes a heavy melodic rocker. But something's missing.... A good song, but not as catchy as others.... Here Simone Mularoni get's his time to shine. With Bittersweet she presents a tune which first is all piano and vocals, but then get's heavy. Really heavy it gets with Closer To You which is based on sharp riffs and is one of the highlights of the album. It's more hard rock then AOR or melodic rock, but what's most important, the song is fun!
The closer Everything To Me is a ballad, vocals accompanied by keyboard, later the band joins in and the song kinda explodes. But still has the balladesque edge.
It's a decent album with some highlights, but I miss a real ear catcher. Something which haunts you... But Sacrifice Me has the potential to become an ear catcher after a few spins.
Norwegian singer Issa is back, this time with a cover album of AOR songs and I confess that I only know a few of them and as the label biography only lists some band names, I can't make comparisons.
(Frontiers Records - 2011)
About a year ago Issa presented her debut album Sign Of Angels, now she's back with The Storm. This time Issa had the chance to get involved in the song writing and so give songs her own identity. But again songs were written by several musicians incl. Robert Sall (Work Of Art), Randy Goodrum (Steve Lukather, Toto, Steve Perry), Daniel Palmqvist, Johannes Stole (Xorigin), Sören Kronqvist (Crash The System, Sunstorm), Chris Laney, Magnus Karlsson (Place Vendome), Daniel Flores who also played drums on The Storm and produced the album.
With Please Hold On she presents a AOR tune which is radio friendly, but not too polished. She's taking a walk on the razor's edge, avoiding to become 'just another pop singer' she is combining the music elements she loves. Take A Stand is more metal, and personally I prefer this sound - and it's closer to the sound of the debut. Her vocal performance is obviously influenced by pop singers like Kelly Clarkson. Invincible reminds me of Donna Lewis - at least parts of it - at this balladesque tune. The melodic rocker Two Hearts has melancholy edge but also shows hope. For me one of the best tunes on The Storm, even if I can't say what makes this one better than the others to my ears. At You're Making Me the heavy riffs are back, a happy up-tempo rocker with a catchy refrain. Wouldn't mind to hear more songs like this... At others the keyboard is a bit too prominent for me, but that's a matter of taste. What Does It Take once more shows that Issa can combine pop-like vocals with metallic sounds and here it works out very well. But I miss a real ballad on The Storm, even if the closer The Storm is a balladesque one. I miss a goose bumps moment... A touching ballad.
At the end I can only recommend to check out The Storm, personally I prefer the metallic moments on The Storm. And I hope Issa won't drift more into pop next time. And even if the album sounds homogenous due to her vocal performance I hope she finds a band, so that the songwriting is in her and her bands hands. But Issa is on the way to find her own identity as a singer.
Sign Of Angels
(Frontiers Records - 2010)
Issa is a 26-year-old singer from Norway and with Sign Of Angels she made her first step into the spotlight internationally. In Norway Isabell 'Issa' Oversveen played live a lot incl. touring with Gaute Ormåsen (Norwegian Idol show), did vocals on albums of Gaia Epicus and Illusion Suite.
Okay, for some it's more a pop rock songs, but if a song is good I don't mind this. And I can imagine that fans if Kelly Clarkson like Issa. With Give Me A Sign she offers a semi-balladesque tune, but most of the songs rock.
What Can I Do sticks out as it's more symphonic, bombastic and it has a dash of melancholy. After another rock pop tune Issa offers a ballad called Unbelievable. I think this one would be even better all acoustic. Anyway, a touching ballad. With the following How Will I Know she shows a different side, heavy riffs meet poppy keyboard sounds - bit 80's pop-like. Again it's Issa's voice which make it differ from similar acts. With this sound she should be able to get radio airplay in the US. After the melancholy It's Not Me she one more time offers a rock track - Fallen Angel.
If you like good rock songs and if you listen to bands / singers like Romeo's Daughter, Saraya, Robin Beck and Heart, then you should check out Issa!
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