Review by Mick Parry
I Have been listening to Issa’s latest cd “Crossfire” for the past two weeks now, her first new release since 2012’s covers album “Can’t Stop”, which is due to be released on the 20th February in Europe and the 24th in North America on Frontiers. For anyone not familiar with Issa , she is a Norwegian singer with a great range and has had three previous top quality melodic rock releases in the vain of Roxette and Robin Beck. With this latest release you definitely feel the influence of the aforementioned duo, these are Issa’s first set of all new songs since 2011 “The Storm.
The Album contains an all star guest list including Steve Overland (FM), Alessandro Del Vecchio (Hardline),Steve Newman (Newman) and Robert Sall (Work Of Art) amongst others and was lovingly produced by John Greatwood and James Martin of Vega fame. The album opener and title track “Crossfire”, contains all the ingredients of a classy AOR track, a great chorus, a sublime guitar solo and a great rhythm throughout. This sets the tone for the album and it doesn’t stray away from this path too much. My favourite tracks on the album are “Ghost Inside My Heart” and “Heartbeat” and the really big, stand out track on the album “Raintown”.
“Raintown” is a beautiful ballad duet sung with the powerful vocal performance of Steve Overland, it starts with a gentle keyboard intro and then builds into a fabulously powerful song with both parts bringing the song to a wonderful climatic finish that sends shivers down your spine.
Overall the album is a great collection of tunes with great hooks and choruses which will have you humming the songs for days. With the right band supporting her Issa needs to get out on the road and support this release and I’m sure it will go down a storm. I was fortunate to catch Issa headlining the ARFM charity fundraiser in Derby where she gave a very solid performance and even performed “Raintown “, with the very able Nigel Bailey stepping into Mr Overland’s shoes, to great effect. A UK tour with a good co-headliner would certainly raise Issa’s profile in the melodic rock community.
So, if you’re looking for some great female fronted melodic rock you can’t go wrong with this release, go on you know you want too.
Long Time Coming
Fight Fire With Rain
Inside My Heart