Miss Isabell Oversveen seems like an ambitious and hard (and fast) working young lady. Her new album is her thrird in only three years and in this day and age, this is kind of unusual. Sure, I guess she doesn’t do two and a half year Iron Maiden tours and, yes, a lot of their songs are written by outside writers and, yes this new record is a covers album. But that is unessential because bands and artists today leaves a gap between three and five years between albums. But before you sigh and go “Oh Lord, another cover album, how boooooring!”, you might wanna give this one a chance if you are into AOR and melodic rock because this could just as well be an album of originals. Issa has, instead of searching for outside song writers, recorded an album full of obscure AOR favourites of hers by bands that never got far or sold any amount of albums back in the day. You might just be surprised how good this album is. I can almost guarantee that most of you have never even heard of most of the bands, let alone the songs that she’s covering here and she does a magnificent job with it.
I always thought that I was a curious music listener and in the 80’s I dived head first in the world of AOR and owns a lot of records by bands like the ones covered here. But even I have never even heard of many of the bands that she covers here. The album’s title track and opener, however is an old favourite of mine. It was originally recorded by the band Aviator back in 1984 and their self titled debut was the only album they ever released, which is a shame, because if I remember things right, that album was a gem. And Issa makes it sound like it was one of her own songs. Brilliant! “Power Over Me” by the band Atlantic (never heard of them) is a great melodic track with a killer hook and “Wherever You Run” (by Regatta) is very good and extremely catchy. Makes me wanna check that band out. Another band that should have made it big is ex-Thin Lizzy guitarist Scott Gorham’s band 21 Guns. Issa covers two fantastic tracks from their just as fantastic debut album Salute, the phenomenal ballad “Just A Wish”, a song that should have been a hit then and it should be one now and the almost as awesome ballad “These Eyes”. Issa does them justice, to say the least. “If You Ever Fall”, earlier recorded by both Tone Norum (sister of Europe’s John) and Mystic Healer (???), is a total hit, just brilliant, “Do You Ever Think Of Me” (Unruly Child and Message) is more one the bluesy side of AOR, “Stranded” by the highly underrated band Tangier (everybody should check out both their albums Four Winds and Stranded, more bluesy hard rock than AOR, though) is a stunning melodic rock half ballad and “Heat Of The Night” (Worrall) is so amazing and a hit to be.
Issa might not be huge, but she really should be. Both her previous albums Sign Of Angels and The Storm is packed with brilliant AOR rockers, killer hooks and smashing productions and this album is not an exception to that. On top of that Issa has a fantastic voice, charisma, she’s beautiful (nothing to do with the music, just sayin’…), well produced albums and a great band backing her up. So if you’re into this kind of music, do yourself and her a favour and back her up. This chick is way to good to be working in the shadows of success.
Jon Wilmenius (8/10)
1. Can’t Stop (Aviator)
2.Power Over Me (Atlantic)
3. Wherever I Run (Regatta)
4. Just A Wish (21 Guns)
5. If You Ever Fall (Tone Norum, Mystic Healer)
6. Do You Ever Think Of Me (Message, Unruly Child)
7. Dream On (BLVD)
8. Stranded (Tangier)
9. Heat Of The Night (Worrall)
10. I Won’t Surrender (Tower City, Steelhouse Lane)
11. State Of Love (Mark Free)
12. These Eyes (21 Guns)