There are some who like to suggest rock in all it’s various pigeon holes is dead … or atthe very least on a life support system and the priest has been called in to administer the Last Rites. Those of us fortunate to have the opportunity to hear the stuff being produced currently would have to disagree – especially given that, month after month, I must get two or three titles sent my way which ignite my interest and keep me engaged for listen after listen. I clearly remember thinking “Wow, 2014 was an amazing year for new music – surely 2015 can’t come close?”. Firstly, please don’t call me Shirley and second – how wrong could I be. Each year keeps giving and there is no sign of let up.
Which brings me to “We Will Align” from Martina Edoff. Here we have her third release in nearly as many years and, again, I find myself thinking about the old adage of the “difficult third album”. No sign of it here at all. Still clearly in the, for want of a better phrase, melodic rock/AOR slot but this is, to my ears, a significantly heavier record than the first two. Without a shadow of doubt, the songs and arrangements truly reflect more of the style experienced in her UK shows last year – a toughened up sound with more bite.
The self-titled MARTINA EDOFF album was released in 2014, and nearly a year later, the second record called “Unity” took her and her band on a successful North American tour in September 2015. She soon went to Argentina and performed for 6000 new fans as an opening act for Tarja Turunen. The tour went on to share the stage with The Winery Dogs on their European tour in early 2016. The UK audience welcomed her the same year for a mini tour and she later returned to the Rockingham Festival to perform.
Together with her former co-producer and co-writer Jona Tee (H.E.A.T), Martina decided to work with him on the third album. In late 2016 the artist started to write on some new songs and found more co-writers who completed the music in the way she was looking for, such as Jonas Törnqvist (Deathriders, Bleed The Hunger, TreasureLland), Erik Mårtensson (Eclipse, Nordic Union, W.E.T), Benny Jansson (Ride The Sky), Billy Sheehan (Mr Big, The Winery Dogs), Jona Tee (H.E.A.T).
“We Will Align” is a melodic hard rock album with a bluesy note along with powerful pieces and it goes back to the roots where EDOFF has got her influences. The strong melodies are always there such as her powerful voice. The musicians are the best to find and they are by her side in the studio as well on stage, i.e. Björn Höglund (drums), Nalle Påhlsson (bass), Stefan Bergström (guitar) and Jona Tee (keyboard/ hammond and production). The mixing went through the hands of the legendary Tobias Lindell.
Opening up with the double salvo of “Turn Our Pages” and “Champions”, the stall is clearly set out and the rest of the album continues apace. No middle section hump with chance for a break that sometimes finds it’s way onto the occasional album. Even the more balladic “Lay Down Your Arms” has power and might to die for. Don’t get me wrong, this is no heavy metal record – what it does represent is the way that all new millenial AOR (see, I’m at it again with the pigeon holing) should aspire to. As much as I hate to admit it from a personal/lifestyle perspective – we ain’t in 1987 anymore Toto (to paraphrase The Wizard of Oz), and I want new releases to reflect this. I want 21st century production, lyrical content to make you think and still retain the passion, swagger and joy that rock music should be all about. MArtina Edoff has achieved this in spades
Now she’s back with the third record “We Will Align” which will be released on AOR Heaven on September 22nd, 2017.
More information about Martina can be found at http://www.martinaedoff.com/