Release Date: 29th November 2013
Gary 'Rockulus' Clarke
Angelica Rylin is no stranger to showcasing her vocal dexterity. The Swedish femme fatale is the voice for The Murder of My Sweet who at the time of this review, have two studio albums worthy of checking out.
Thanks to the inspiration of artists like Robin Beck, Ann Wilson of Heart and Leigh Matty of UK-based Melodic Rockers Romeo's Daughter, she has always wanted to record an album melodic in nature, complete with choruses that hook themselves in the mind and a slick production value to boot.
So here we are, exposed to the polished and pop-flavoured debut solo album called 'Thrive'.
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Assisted by fellow The Murder of My Sweet band-mate Daniel Flores in the production chair, 'Thrive' contains 12 tracks which explore similar terrains as the three studio albums released by Issa since 2010.
The formula is to find a female talent that is easy on the eye and has a distinctively powerful voice, then add some external songwriters to create suitable material in a melodic vein. Woohoo! You then have the bare bones of a project that should satisfy the melodic adoring masses. If only it was that easy eh?
As it happens, once you wrap your ears around such golden nuggets as 'Breaking My Heart', 'Can't Stop Love' and 'Nothing Else You Can Break', you realise that these songs just wash over you with weapons of mass seduction. Perfect for a summer day with the top down on your automobile of choice as you head out on the highway, songwriting talents such as Anders Wigelius, Harry Hess (Harem Scarem), Daniel Flores and others have shaped some fine material for Rylin to do justice to.
There are weaker moments like 'Losers In Paradise' which drags a little, and 'Take Me To Your Heart' which tries to compress as many sections of melody into the five minutes or so of the song until you're a little unsure of what is the actual chorus. But overall, these are minor quibbles when the benchmark for such expectations is high.
The well-balanced good stuff arrives in the form of 'I Am Strong' and 'Rain On My Parade' which both coordinate their pop values with some light-weight Rock with success. This whole project isn't merely assembled spontaneously and hurriedly rushed through for release, it is a precise and calculated affair that offers the listener something which should mostly satisfy. Listen to 'Riding Out The Storm' as testimony to such a claim.
Initially bringing out a prominent guitar before settling into a smooth satisfying cheese-fest, this track incorporates some subtle backing vocals in the chorus and nestles in a musical landscape which is light to the touch during the verses.
If this album was a woman, it would be Barbie. Sculptured out of suitable materials to please a target audience and deliver on all accounts; making fantasy a reality within the confines of its parameters.
1. Breaking My Heart
2. I Am Strong
3. To Your Rescue
4. Can't Stop Love
5. Nothing Else You Can Break
6. Riding Out The Storm
7. Rain On My Parade
8. Losers In Paradise
9. You Will Never Win
10. This Kiss Is Just For You
11. I'm Not Waiting
12. Take Me To Your Heart
Lead vocals: Angelica Rylin
Guitars: Per Bergquist
Drums and Keyboards: Daniel Flores
Bass: Johan Niemann
Soloists: Matt Guillory (12), Jesper Stromblad (2), Magnus Karlsson (1), Mats Lindfors (4, 5) Per Bergquist (3)
Backing Vocals: Anders Wigelius, Angelica Rylin, Daniel Flores