Released: 2012, Frontiers Records
I seem to be the resident Issa fan on Metal-Rules; as I’ve become quite a fan of her vocals over the course of her two previous releases. Hers is a voice that is strong, charismatic, and flawless – I’d be happy listening to her sing the phone book. That said, the song writing on her albums has always let her down a little bit with some lacklustre rockers and way too many ballads (although this is understandable given her love of melodic rock). So, for her third effort she has chosen to go the covers album route, featuring 12 “classic” AOR/melodic rock songs done in her own style.
One quick look at the track list had me thinking: Who? Seriously, aside from 21 Guns and Mark Free, I hadn’t heard of any of these bands, so right away Issa and her band show their dedication to their genre by laudably choosing to cover non-obvious songs. Known or not, one listen to the album proves that (most of) these songs are worthy of the attention. Issa’s band of Italians does an excellent job performing the songs, in particular guitarist Mario Percudani who effortlessly fires out riffs and solos. As expected, Issa’s vocals carry the album and her performance is as strong as usual – possibly her best ever on tracks like “Just a Wish” and “Do You Ever Think of Me” (both ballads, but good ones).
The album is of course laden with ballads, but there are enough rockers on board to keep things interesting. The first three quarters of the album is excellent, but some of the later songs drag it down a bit; the performances are good, but the songs not as catchy.
Issa has been working hard since her 2010 debut, and the work is paying off – I’ve seen more press coverage of this album already than her last two efforts combined. It’s well-deserved, and I know I’ll be looking forward to her next album.