February 19, 2023

What initially began as a project some years back has now developed a life of its own with Lights Of Japan incredibly being album number seven from Issa (Isabell Oversveen). The record sees a continuation of her fine melodic rock that has all the power and majesty of guitar driven AOR with a distinct melodious underbelly and radio friendliness giving the music something of a pop sensibility. In that, Issa is continuing in the same footsteps of artists such as Heart, Berlin, Robin Beck, Lana Lane and Pat Benatar so she is in great company and nothing thrills quite as much as a beautiful, crystal-clear voice cranking up the intensity to delivery outstanding power ballads. She has always managed to infuse her music with passion and emotion which always shines through be it a ballad or a guitar driven high intensity rocker!

Issa has shuffled the pack for this album which means a host of new musicians are involved with Michele Guaitoli providing guitar and bass, Marco Pastorino is on rhythm guitar with James Martin on keyboards and Marco Andreetto on drums. Michele Guaitoli is the vocalist with Visions Of Atlantis, Temperance and ERA and this record shows that he is an exceptional lead guitarist and bass player too. Guaitoli shares solos with guest musician Robby Luckets and John Mitchell pops in too to play the solo on I Give You My Heart. You also need to check out the fabulous saxophone playing of Giovanni Barbetta on Moon Of Love which takes a great song and make it unforgettable. Michele Guaitoli gets two writing credits on the album but most of the material has been written by Issa’s husband James Martin and his brother Tom both of whom were previously on the melodic rock band Vega and their experience has brought a harder (but still melodic) edge to the album.

If you have heard any of the previous albums then you will instantly recognise this as it remains thrill a minute melodic rock with a definite 80’s vibe but with a fresh and totally modern delivery for today’s AOR market and when you have a voice as wonderful as Issa then you expect wonderful things to happen as she always delivers. Great power ballad suffused with harmony and given perfect backing from a band in every meaning of the name makes Lights Of Japan as good an album as Issa has ever produced.

Lights Of Japan

  1. Live Again (3:55)
  2. Lights Of Japan (4:17)
  3. Seize The Day (4:46)
  4. Stop The Rain (4:36)
  5. Moon Of Love (4:04)
  6. Chains (3:39)
  7. Fight To Survive (3:43)
  8. It’s Over (5:21)
  9. I Give You My Heart (4:18)
  10. Shadow To The Light (3:41)
  11. I’ll Be Waiting (3:35)