1. Crossfire
2. New Horizon
3. Raintown
4. Long Time Coming
5. Fight Fire With Rain
6. Heartbeat
7. Electric Lights
8. Ghost Inside My Heart
9. Red Lights
10. We Rise
11. Only You

Issa - vocals and bv's
James Martin – Keyboards
Tom Martin - bass and Guitars
Michael Cruise – Drums

Sign Of Angels (2010)
The Storm (2011)

Can't Stop (2012)

Steve Overland – duet on Raintown
Daniel Palmqvist, Alessandro Del Vecchio, Steve Newman, Robert Sall, Daniel Johansson, Stephen Chesney -guest solos
Pete Newdeck, Matt Black and Michael Kew - choir

Produced by John Greatwood and James Martin

Released 2015-01-12
Reviewed 2015-01-25


Issa puts up some Crossfire, an album that follows the Issa tradition to have a very unflattering photo of Isabel on the cover. I wonder why a girl that is fairly good looking has such a problem, or does she think she looks good on the cover – that would explain a lot. Thing is that since we got our hands on Issa album she has been going downhill in the ratings from us, although only two albums is not a real trend but a third might reveal something of a trend. For us it started with Issa’s second album The Storm which was very commercial but still felt focused on good songs, the second album we reviewed was the third Can’t Stop which felt more focused on Issa and had some bland but decent songs. Now it seems even more focused on Isabel and the press info mentions Roxette in a prominent fashion, that feels a good step away from the strong AOR-pop-rock that was displayed on The Storm a few years back.

This album is a very well polished album and the Roxette comparison is not that far off, blend them with a touch of AOR and voilà – you have Crossfire. The songs feel like radio-friendly pop songs, inoffensive songs that are very easy to take in and also quite easy to grow tired of when repeating them a few times. And the nagging feeling that you’ve heard the songs before is growing stronger for each second that passes while listening to the album. The songs are built around catchy choruses and all of that, the prominent guests that do solos and Overland that sings a duet are hardly noticeable in this flurry of songs and imagery that feels tailored to fit little girls of ten or eleven years age. I wonder if there was a committee amongst the Frontiers people who figured that the best way forward for Issa was to sell Isabel rather than giving her great songs to perform.

You may notice that I do not particularly fancy this album and there are many reasons for this, and none of those reasons are related to the fact that this album is particularly bad. Because it cannot be bad considering that it is one of the most inoffensive albums I have ever heard, the problem is that artists that are afraid to step on anyone’s toes also fails to produce an artwork that will appeal to or speak to those who have more than a superficial interest in that kind of art. That is what Issa’s music is, kind of like those AOR or hair metal albums of the eighties that sold in a few million or hundred thousand copies, the albums were okay but they felt written just to appeal to as wide an audience as possible and not alienate anyone – just like this album. The question is whether or not this is a good approach today when we consume music in a different way more focused on the strength of either single songs or entire albums and this album has neither of those.

She is keeping a downwards trend with her albums the good Issa which is sad since she has a terrific voice and with better song-writing she could certainly perform some brilliant or even amazing hits but this albums feels just lazy and bland. Kind of like any radio product, the problem just is that I doubt that Frontiers knows how to sell a product like this which just means that Isabel will end up left in the dust having to rebuild her credibility if she ever wants to be respected as a musician. Nah, I don’t think you need to bother with this album, and I really hope that next time they focus on writing some songs that doesn’t feel like second rate Max Martin songs. The only thing I can think of as positive about this album is if Isabel herself dislikes it because if she doesn’t there isn’t any real hope for her as an artist.




Label: Frontiers Records
Three similar bands: Roxette/Alyson Avenue/Heart
Rating: HHHHHHH (3/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm

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