Coming off the strength of her 2010 debut, Norwegian vocal diva Issa (Oversveen) seems to be making a slight change of course on her sophomore effort The Storm. It seems some of the harder edge that characterized Sign of Angels has been replaced by a more AOR melodic rock feel.
You hear this immediately on Looking For Love and Please Hold On. Yet, the following Take A Stand offers some big riffs and a return to that edge, all in a melodic rock wrapper. Also, this marks a song that actually seems to fit Issa, which was the main problem with the first work.
Perhaps this has to do with the simple fact that she participated in the songwriting on several songs. The ballad, Invincible, which follows Take A Stand, certainly finds Issa propelling herself to the forefront. Overall, however, there is a more accessible, even 'pop' theme surging through this disc, notable on Two Hearts and Gonna Stand by You. And it definitely rises on the best track, You're Making Me.
With The Storm, Issa is more in her element, even more in control, especially considering her participation in songwriting. Is it different from her debut? Yes and no. Is it better? Honestly, I'm not entirely sure, but I liked it. An improvement, might be a better answer. I certainly did not come away with a feeling of ambivalence as I did with Sign of Angels. Let's bump up the rating from last year.
With The Storm, Issa seems more in her element, even more in control, especially considering her participation in songwriting. It's different from her debut, yes and no. Is it better? An improvement, might be the answer.