European Blues Award winner Erja Lyytinen will release her brand-new studio album “Another World” on Friday 26th April via Tuohi Records and, as always, this album shows a restless musical spirit always looking to explore new sounds and take on board new musical influences.
Erja Lyytinen is a very good guitarist and a gifted “slide” player and it does not matter what Erja is playing, be it fast rock paced blues or more traditional slower blues, there is always that crispness and clear technique to her guitar work. Sometimes in a modern world, the speed that a musician plays guitar at is often more valued (wrongly in my opinion) than the emotion of their playing as more slower and traditional blues playing performances get all too often pushed into the background. With Erja, that feeling and emotion is there whatever speed the music requires.
There are 8 very different tracks on this album that should appeal to a broad range of music lovers. Our opening track “Snake in the Grass” sets the pace for much of what is to come on this album with Michael Jackson’s favourite shredder, Jennifer Batten, making a guest appearance, and Erja is so obviously enjoying the “musical swordsplay” that the opportunity offers to both of them.
The title track from this album, “Another World” is not one of my favourites here, but it is still a good song, and does remind me so much of those huge radio airplay songs from the 1980s and 1990s, and it is obvious why it is the title track, and I hope it gets the airplay that it deserves. Erja Lyytinen is a very good writer of songs, and that fact is often obscured by her obvious talents on guitar, but there seems to be something about the darker side of human emotions that Nordic writers understand almost instinctively and “Break My Heart Gently” is simply a fine song. Also nice here to find Erja paying homage to playing on-stage with guitar legend Carlos Santana and incorporating double-time percussion into the sound of “Hard As Stone”. Other musical influences are obvious at times here and if you are going to be influenced by any other contemporary writer, then Sting is as good a point to focus on as any, and “Torn” makes interesting listening with its tempo-shifting chorus.
Erja Lyytinen is a musical explorer and a very good storyteller, and this album is definitely a step further into both directions.
TRACKLISTING - “ANOTHER WORLD”
1. Snake In The Grass
2. Cherry Overdrive
3. Another World
4. Hard As Stone
5. Wedding Day
8. Break My Heart Gently
Review by Tom King