The Finnish musician and singer-songwriter ERJA LYYTINEN is the queen of the slide guitar.
Her melody-rich blues songs — filled with rocky textures — have been charming audiences everywhere with those trademark brawny yowls of guitar, high-notes that seem to whistle directly from icy Baltic drumlins and a bite-sized singing voice that is suddenly vital when you least expect it.
On her 2017 album “Stolen Hearts” the standout number, for us, was: “Black Ocean” with an increasingly striking and evocative beat and volume & song-melody separated into distinct sections.
The number started with a discharging riff and a steady chuff-chuff of rhythm — then began a catharsis… with a clear voice and piercing silver guitar tips. It was a totally intoxicating spectacle… and we hoped it would herald a bold new direction for Erja and her band…
She releases the new studio album “Another World” on Friday 26th April via Tuohi Records and although it explores similar apparitional notions, it doesn’t have the blackened edge we hoped it would possess:
“The album title is the idea of stepping into a new territory, musically and spiritually,” she explains. “Walking towards a new land of musical ideas, not being afraid to express myself. This album is open-minded, curious and empowering.”
Thus, the second single from the album, the title track: “Another World” is a fictional love story set in a parallel universe replete with juicy wah-wah. It’s slick format-music in the T’Pau tradition, and absolutely enjoyable, nonetheless. Though, it’s not a slice of pop-realism — but we’re sure it’ll generate attraction reaction.
“Snake In The Grass” feat. American guitarist Jennifer Batten has a groovy earthy vibe and precision, slitherclaw guitar-eloquence. And “Wedding Day” (Feat. Sonny Landreth) is a spruce Jeff Beckish blue-state rock-down.
The balladic “Torn” is a classy tearjerker with emotional violin. One of two jerky & jaunty “bonus” fan-tracks is “Without You” [shared below] — a blues-lite, almost jazzy affair with sweeping organ and earnest fidelity… but could it be more badass? We think so… but maybe that’s just us!
To be fair, there’s not a lot of punch to be found in this amiable, easy-pushing album. We wish that there was. That said, it oozes superior sound quality and it’s overtly slickalicious in its elegance.
To sum up: this is efficient, effective and extremely safe.