Monday, October 15, 2012

ISSA: "Can't Stop"

Rating: RRRR
Label: Frontiers 2012
Review by Kimmo Toivonen

Norwegian AOR Queen Issa Oversveen returns with her third album, but instead of recording a a selection of newly written songs, she has done a covers album. The songs for this album are neatly chosen though, instead of the big AOR hits you'll get a dozen cult AOR classics. Those new to the genre might just as well think that these songs were especially written for Issa. They weren't, they were actually all but one originally sung by male singers, so that's another twist in the plot...

I like Issa's voice and several of these tracks are old favourites of mine, so it's not surprising that I like this album. When it comes to the song material only, it would have deserved the full rating, but there's more to it than just the songs. Issa's vocals are fine and Alessandro Del Vecchio's classy arrangements add some nice new nuances to the songs while staying faithful enough to the originals. But anyway... the original versions are hard to improve upon, and to do that the album would have needed an immaculate sound. Now I'm afraid the production isn't as crystal clear and powerful as it should have been to make this an instant modern-day AOR classic. Still, Issa's track record remains excellent, this is another fine release for her and a pretty safe purchase for any AOR fan.

Just in case you were wondering, here's the tracklisting and the original artists: Can't Stop (Aviator); Power Over Me (Atlantic); Wherever I Run (Regatta); Just A Wish (21 Guns); If You Ever Fall (Tone Norum, Mystic Healer); Do You Ever Think Of Me (Message, Unruly Child); Dream On (BLVD); Stranded (Tangier); Heat Of The Night (Worrall); I Won't Surrender (Tower City, Steelhouse Lane); State Of Love (Mark Free); These Eyes (21 Guns). That's some list, huh?


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