Hailing from Kuopio, Finland, responsible for 80’s heavy metal band Tarot and members of Nightwish, Erja Lyytinen releases her tenth studio album, Stolen Hearts.
Stolen Hearts is an eclectic collection of tracks, throwing together a mix of rock, blues and pop into something unlike anything else I have heard before. Track 4 ‘24 Angels’ is a perfect example of this, starting with a slow, minimalistic, relaxed vibe before exploding halfway through with a guitar solo over a rock bass line.
This will not be for everyone. That is certain, but there is a charm to this. The sort of appeal that suggests this album would be at home on a stereo at home at a chilled low volume, as much as it would be being played in the sort of rock/metal bar where everyone wears leather jackets, and drink the sort of ales with names that would, undoubtedly, get me in trouble with my editor if I were to write them here.
There is a lot going on in every song that does make it difficult to focus on any one particular element. It isn’t until the final third of the album, tracks like ‘Awakening’ and ‘City of Angels’ where things feel a bit more stripped back, and you can truly appreciate everything being showcased.
If like me, you are unfamiliar with Erja Lyytinen, this certainly would be an ideal place to start. For those of her more hardcore fan base, rest assured, this will please, keeping within the framework you’d expect from previous albums, with a marked progression (I checked).