Erja Lyytinen Stolen Hearts cd review
Erja Lyytinen releases her 10th studio album "Stolen Hearts" – released by Tuohi Records on Friday 7th April, 2017. Stolen Hearts is the first album to be released since 2015’s "Live In London", and the first studio album to be release since 2014’s Elmore James tribute "The Sky Is Crying."
The new album coincides with Erja’s “Stolen Hearts” April 2017 Tour which kicks off at Square & Compass in Ilminster on Sunday 9th April.
The new album was recorded at Sonic Pump Studios in Helsinki. Erja’s vocals were recorded at State of the Ark Studios in London by multi-platinum selling engineer and producer Chris Kimsey, known for his contributions to classic Rolling Stones albums Sticky Fingers and Some Girls. Kimsey also mixed the album.
I will be honest but until I heard Live In London Erja was a name I was unaware of and believe me that is my loss as from the raw power and her expertise at the slide guitar that deserves to be seen and heard on the whole world stage.
Stolen Hearts sounds a million dollars with a rich vibrant production and allowing the songs on repeat listens to embed in your brain and marvel at not only her fantastic guitar playing skills but also her rich vibrant deep vocal prowess from a whisper to a roar.
I love the way her guitar playing comes out of the shadows with added melodies that only add to the song and not just a reason to play at 100 notes a second.Her passion for her instrument shines through and she really makes it a joy to listen to with not only within the blues genre but with a song like the quite splendid 24 Angels with it's sumptuous melodies and cross genre characteristics which rises from a whispered intro that rises to a band work out with slide guitar at it's core but never forgetting melodies and wow that vocal melody.
The title track after a quiet picked intro it explodes around the heavy blues guitar riff at the chorus and a harder edge to the vocal melody and the mid song guitar solo builds and as you think it is edging to a close Erja attacks a fiery solo that makes you think wow but even that is beaten at the outro as all of her band back her as she again shows off her stunning qualities.
Rocking Chair has a deep stop start blues lick and again a darker vocal touch to her range and slide guitar shines along side the chorus melody.
Love Laboratory sees a drop in pace and that builds around the chorus to a funky little number with stop start guitar melodies and some Hammond organ only adding to the songs depth and the second half is full of chorus add libs and guitar melodies that shine ever higher.I can imagine in the live setting it being a song that is explored heavily.
Black Ocean has another stop start funky riff with babbling bass undertows and more Hammond added to the mix before a big chorus with full band backing before the funky riff again appears in the second verse.A lengthy wonderful picked guitar solo full of control and held notes and no little melodic intent takes the song to another level that is an album highlight with every note there for all to see.Again looking forward to seeing this one in a live setting.
Photo Credits: © Tina Korhonen
Slowly Burning is a smoky club led blues number with Erja's emotional vocal superb and the guitar solo again being a lesson in passion,tone and melody with every note thought out and only adding to the aural pleasure.
Lover's Novels sees the pace increase with more funk in the guitar riff and the band again shining as mid song Erja's slide takes over and the band work out underneath the solo is superb and all audible with the sonics in the production exemplary.
Silver Stones and Awakening are both mid paced numbers with the first an atmospheric number with guitar melodies to the fore before the latter sees Erja's vocal to the fore and a quite wonderful big chorus with another superb picked guitar solo that then blends into and along side the vocal and again more vocal add libs in the extended outro.
City Of Angels is an acoustic picked number with slide guitar melodies and piano under towing it all with Erja's vocal building to the second chorus as the band finally kick in before it all drops with the band's dynamics a feature knowing when to kick in and when to hold back.
Broken Eyes is a piano ballad with Erja's showing off her full vocal range with beautiful held notes and breathless quality to the fore and really show casing her vocal and showing she is so much more than just a guitarist.
Stolen Hearts sees Erja Lyytinen spreading her wings on an a simply superb album that showcases her writing,vocal and guitar playing qualities and she hits the UK shortly and you need to be there.
APRIL 2017 UK TOUR DATES
Square & Compass, Ilminster
Sunday 9th April 2017
Box Office - 01823 480 467
Windmill Hill, Ilminster TA19 9NX
The 100 Club
Record Release Party
Tuesday 11th April 2017
Venue Tel: 020 7636 0933
Book Online – WeGotTickets.com
Facebook / Twitter / Instagram
100 Oxford Street, London, W1d 1LLwww.the100club.co.uk
Worthing Pier Southern Pavilion
Wednesday 12th April
Book Online from SeeTickets.com and Ents24
Venue Tel: 01903 366 017Facebook
Marine Parade, Worthing, BN11 3PXwww.worthingpier.co.uk
Durham Gala Theatre, Durham
Co-headline with Chantel McGregor
Thursday 13th April 2017
Book Online: Durham Gala Theatre
Box Office: 03000 266 600Facebook / Twitter / Instagram
Millennium Place, Durham, DH1 1WAwww.galadurham.co.uk
Hard Rock Hell – Blues Festival
O2 Academy Sheffield
Saturday 15th April 2017
Box Office: 0203 287 4994
Facebook / Twitter
37-43 Arundel Gate, Sheffield S1 2PN