ISSA - NOrwegian AOR musician

ISSA – The Storm

ISSA, The Storm 2012No time at all was wasted in writing and recording Issa’s follow up to her well acclaimed debut Sign Of Angels.  Her brand new album is out almost exactly a year to the day since that was released. The one album a year thing that was so popular back in the 80’s isn’t something that we’re used to these days. On the other hand, as long as the albums aren’t rushed, then keep them coming.

And my guess is that Issa didn’t follow her debut with a mega tour of the world… The fact is, maybe this was the smartest thing to do as Issa’s debut actually became a bit of the talk of the AOR town and Sign Of Angels really was a great AOR / melodic rock album which means that expectations are high for this album. But no worries, if you liked the first album, you’re gonna like this one as well – If you’re not a schizophrenic.

However, the album starts off a little worrying. ”Looking For Love” is the first single and album opener, but it doesn’t feel like the hit I guess they’re hoping for. A good song, sure, but a bit too indifferent for a hit to be. But you don’t have to wait long for the hits to arrive!

Both second and third songs ”Please Hold On” and ”Take A Stand” are very good AOR tracks with killer melodies and she also has a couple of brilliant power ballads on her hands. ”Invincible” and ”Too Late For Love” are both hits, or at least they should be. The one thing that separates this album a bit from her debut is the sound. The production here is a bit darker and the overall sound feels a bit heavier and that has rubbed off on a couple of songs.

Both the album’s title track and especially ”Black Clouds” are dark and heavy AOR and it’s pleasing to hear that it fits Issa’s voice perfectly. But the album’s true winner, this time, is ”You’re Making Me”, a brilliant melodic hard rock tune that borders on AOR, catchy as hell and why Issa and her record company didn’t decide on this as the album’s first single is beyond me. That said, Issa has once again made a great album, although not as direct as her previous one and a bit of a grower. She has great songs, a killer voice and the looks to match. I really can’t see no reason for fans of this music not to buy this CD.

Jon Wilmenius (8/10)

01. Looking for Love
02. Please Hold On
03. Take a Stand
04. Invincible
05. Two Hearts
06. Black Clouds
07. You’re Making Me
08. Gonna Stand By You
09. We’re On Fire
10. Too Late for Love
11. What Does It Take
12. The Storm

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