Frontiers Records (Release Date 19.09.14)
Lenna Kuurmaa was apparently one of Estonia’s biggest pop stars with her band Vanilla Ninja, but her desire to rock out has led her into the arms of Frontiers Records and what seem to be their in house team of Alessandro Del Vecchio et al. After a promising live debut at the Frontiers Rock Festival in Milan in May (where her librarian chic was a talking point!) they have now helped her release her first album.
It is well played but rather derivative. Her voice while pleasant lacks character and her pop origins and European accent give some of the lighter tracks such as ‘Open Your Heart’ almost a Roxette type feel, while ‘When Love is Gone’ recalls Heart in their eighties hit-making phase. However the musical arrangement of ‘Out of Reach’ veers towards the symphonic metal style that female fronted North Europeans have made their speciality.
The second half of the album is stronger than the first – the beautiful ballad ‘Live and Let Go’ shows off her voice the best, while ‘Cold As Ice’ is an AOR classic from the moment the bouncy keyboard intro kicks in, with an excellent chorus matched by that of next song ‘Over Me’.
Throughout the guitar solos from Francesco Marras are excellent, and while lacking a stamp of identity to lift it out of the ordinary, fans of female fronted AOR such as Robin Beck, Alyson Avenue and Issa will still find much to enjoy here. ****
Review by Andy Nathan
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