Erja Lyytinen’s tenth studio album Stolen Hearts is an absolute triumph of inventiveness, resourcefulness, joy and heartbreak. An album so rich in diversity, it makes newcomers to the Finnish guitarist’s/ vocalists skills wonder where she’s been all their lives and ardent followers wonder where this album has been all her career.
The opening title track is an absolute stonker. A tale of man eater who gets her comeuppance when she falls in love, this is a delight which sets things off towards the blues-filled clouds before soaring ever higher. Love Laboratory is a mix of cool blues mixed tantalisingly with more than a soupcon of funkiness, all of which is underscored with delightful drum and bass lines that rock.
Then there is Black Ocean which gives full reign to Lyytinen’s musical and vocal prowess. A song rammed with angst and bravado, take a listen to the licks she pulls out during the sumptuous solo and dare not be awed into appreciation. Yet when coupling this with the absolute beauty of Slowly Burning – a tale of dwindling love at its most poignant – and you can’t but help to appreciate that what we have here is a work of full-on emotional dexterity.
Quite simply put, there isn’t a weakness on this album. The roundedness of the playing and lyricism of the songs is as complete as anybody dares wish for, whilst the poise and grace that encompasses the sum of the whole is truly astonishingly gorgeous, thanks in no small part to Chris Kimsey’s magical engineering dust being finely sprinkled across the project.
If push has to come to shove though, the stand outs of the collection lie with the enigmatically smooth Silver Stones – its rhythmic, intoxicating catchiness laying bare Erja Lyytinen’s consummate abilities and underlining exactly why it is she so highly thought of – and the dazzlingly polished, yet earthily delivered City of Angels which is nothing short of being a babbling brook in a storm of bliss.
Erja Lyytinen’s Stolen Hearts is an album and then some; an accomplishment of no small magnitude that delights from track-to-track and listen-to-listen.
Label: Bluesland / Tuohi Records
7 April, 2017
- Stolen Hearts
- Rocking Chair
- Love Laboratory
- 24 Angels
- Black Ocean
- Slowly Burning
- Lover’s Novels
- Silver Stones
- City Of Angels
- Broken Eyes