This debut solo album from Swedish singer Angelica Rylin – lead vocalist with The Murder of My Sweet – may at first surprise many of her fans, as it ploughs a thoroughly melodic furrow very much in the vein of Robin Beck, Heart and Romeo’s Daughter (all of whom she cites as childhood heroes, so perhaps this should not be such a surprise after all!).
Produced and partially co-written by bandmate Daniel Flores, and with contributions from renowned melodic rock songwriting luminaries such as Harry Hess, Robert Sall, Alessandro Del Vecchio and Anders Wigelius, ‘Thrive’ is a strong and confident album from an equally strong and confident singer.
Although it gets off to a slightly unconvincing beginning with the introduction to ‘Breaking My Heart’, the album nevertheless quickly gets into its stride, with Rylin’s breathy, sometimes rasping vocal lying very much in Lee Aaron and Robin Beck territory, and demonstrates a truly remarkable and powerful range. Musically, there are huge sweeping melodies and soaring soundscapes, underpinned by rock-solid rhythms, while guest performances from the likes of Jesper Stromblad and Magnus Karlsson help to add a necessary amount of heaviness – especially to the likes of the powerful ‘Can’t Stop Love’.
Lyrically, many of the songs have a similar theme – triumph over adversity, especially in the arena of romance – and some of them are a little too samey, with just a little too much emphasis on the power ballad format, but these minor quibbles to not detract from the overall strength of this highly impressive album, which definitely is an essential purchase for any fans of any of the acts referenced herein.
Breaking My Heart / I Am Strong / To Your Rescue / Can’t Stop Love / Nothing Else You Can Break / Riding Out The Storm / Rain On My Parade / Losers In Paradise / You Will Never Win / This Kiss Is Just For You / I’m Not Waiting / Take Me To Your Heart
Recommended listening: ‘Riding Out The Storm’.
‘Thrive’ is out now on Frontiers Records.