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On disc: Issa



Sign Of Angels - Claudia Ehrhardt - 8 stars
The Storm - Claudia Ehrhardt - 8 stars
Can't Stop - Claudia Ehrhardt - 7 stars


www.myspace.com/isabelloversveen







Can't Stop

Can't Stop
(Frontiers Records - 2012)


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.

The opener is Can't Stop and with Issa singing it, it reminds me of Robin Beck... Somewhere I read it's a tune of Aviator... Next in line Power Over Me, a catchy tune which is based on an AC/DC-inspired riff. The more powerful track Wherever I Run fits Issa very well, I think she's much stronger when she rocks - like she does at If You Ever Fall. The opening passage of Just A Wish is just piano and vocals, but later her Italian backing band joins in and add some rock parts. One of the highlights is Unruly Child's Do You Ever Think Of Me, it's always been a great tune which sounds different but good in when Issa sings it. Same can be said about Tangier's Stranded. I remember then the Tangier song was played at MTV... I guess, I prefer the original version, but just because I prefer Mike LeCompt's vocals. For me the Steelhouse Lane tune I Won't Surrender works better - and Issa can show more of her range at this one, too. The closer is 21 Guns' These Eyes, a song I always liked a lot. And Issa's version is fun.

Well, the quality level doesn't offer anything to criticize and it's more a matter of taste. There are some songs which might catch the attention of fans who aren't based in AOR. And it might be good to revive them. I don't know, if the CD gives information about the original artists, but I would have loved to know who originally recorded the songs! Hopefully Issa will be back with an album which is more like her debut...


7 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt
 

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The Storm

The Storm
(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.

Issa kicks off with Looking For Love, a riff-based tune with a slight pop appeal. In general she combines melodic rock with pop elements and some metallic riffs.





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.


8 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt
 

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Sign Of Angels

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.
The blonde singer is supported by guitarist Peter Huss, ex-Dionysus bassist Nobby Noberg, drummer Uli Kusch and keyboarder Tim Larsson. Songwriting credits go to e.g. Joacim Cans, Thomas Vickström, Daniel Flores and Sören Kronkvist (Crash The System).
Issa kicks off with Angels Crying, a powerful melodic rocker which is based on heavy guitar riffs and Issa's melodic vocals. But she will hook you up right away with I'm Alive, the song she did a video for which is also on the CD.





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!


8 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt
 

           ©2008-2014 by Claudia Ehrhardt • E-Mail: contact@ice-vajal.com


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