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Issa - 'The Storm' (frontiers records) 4/5

I've always had a bit of liking for the old rock diva style of things, a root through some of the darker recesses of my record collection will turn up albums by the likes of Tina Turner, Bonnie Tyler, Lee Aaron, Fiona Flanagan and a fair few others, and its been a long time since a rock diva has crossed my path. So I was a bit happy when I got sent this the second album by Norwegian songbird Issa and I've gotta say I am rather enjoying this.

Issa herself has a great voice, I'm reminded of a sort of hybrid of Natalie 'Torn' Imbruglia and Anne 'Heart' Wilson; its a natural voice, it has all the range and power without the wail if you get what I mean. She has a good phrasing and even if she is a bit 'breathy' in places, her voice is highly likable and very listenable.Musically there is nothing really earth shattering on offer. But with a list of collaborators and co-writers that includes members of such acts as House Of Lords, Toto, Journey, Work Of Art, Xorigin and more you know your gonna get some damn fine tunes for Issa to do her stuff on.

Over all this is a good record, it is commercial, anthemic, expertly produced and performed and manages to avoid most of the commercial rock / rock diva cliches. Ok we do have the power ballad Too Late For Love, that is a pure stadium rock cheese fest, but thankfully that track is the exception rather than the rule. Elsewhere the standard is pretty high. Highlights include What Does It Take, a cut that sounds like Passion Works era Heart, the epic closer The Storm with its huge climax, Two Hearts which sounds a little like classic House Of Lords and my favorite cut - We're On Fire which has a touch of the Asia's about it.

All in all this is a good album that whilst it isn't blowing me away I am finding is very listenable, and is a worthy addition to the canon of great albums by great rock divas.

For fans of... Heart, Paramour, Bonnie Tyler, Journey...

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