Monday, August 11, 2008

Ida Maria, Fortress Round My Heart

A review
Norwegian-born Ida Maria is not for the faint of heart. Her sassy debut album Fortress Round My Heart is likely to be a contender as the most intense musical experience of 2008. Normally a shy and sulky character, she grabbed headlines for her live shows. On stage she obviously feels within her natural habitat - almost as if performing was the only moment when she's in control of her life.

Much has been written about Ida Maria's rare neurological condition. The 23-year-old gal suffers from something called synesthesia, which means she sees colours when she hears music. The next step, for the listener, is to seek hints of this in her music. Yet, colourful is not the way to define her songs. The lyrics, for sure, are the equivalent of a time-stopping therapy session, pouring her heart out in a way not seen since PJ Harvey's heyday. In fact, there are moments she makes PJ Harvey sound like Aqua's Barbie Girl by comparison.

Musically, Ida Maria seems to have clawed her way through a niche in the market. What impresses is her sense of focus. The singles I Like You So Much Better When You’re Naked and Queen Of The World are defintely worth a listen. Her throaty voice and stompy punky rythms (Oh My God, in particular) cast her aside from most of her female peers. The uptempo rock-out Forgive Me is probably the most traditional out of the ten tracks on offer. However, marks are lost when the foot is off the pedal; tracks like See Me Through drag themselves along.
A good debut, however, from a singer you're likely to hear from again.

[Fortress Round My Heart is out now on Nesna records]

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I bought this album and I very nearly ended up slashing my wrists.
Nuff said.