I first discovered Erja Lytinnen a few years back now. The first album of hers I remember listening to in full was Dreamland Blues. A great album with some killer tracks. Since then, I’ve back tracked down her older material and kept up with the latest as and when it came out. I’ve always found to be a really interesting songwriter. She always manages to find that space between the smooth, elegant sounds and the hard rock style. Her skill on the guitar is always amazing and she get’s better with every sequential album. So, what is her new album Stolen Hearts like? Well, it’s pretty damn good. The new album was recorded at Sonic Pump Studios in Helsinki with Erja’s vocals at State of the Ark Studios. The album was produced by Chris Kimsey, known for his contributions to classic Rolling Stones albums Sticky Fingers and Some Girls. Knowing my love for her music, I was really excited to get into this one.
She wastes no time in getting your attention with this album. With the exciting and catchy title track “Stolen Hearts”, Erja suckers you in with her unique storytelling mixed with smooth elegant music and a crushing riff for the chorus. The seamless way she blends styles and sounds is near perfection. Take the song “Love Laboratory”, moving from soulful R’n’B to funk without even flinching. It keep the listener invested in the songs as there’s just more to pick up on. The subtle changes in guitar can make you hear the song in a whole new way. The production is clear and you really pick up on all of the details when listening. Get a good pair of headphones or speakers and just enjoy the magic that escapes into your brain. Her exceptional musicianship coupled with are breathtaking song writing just make this whole album an experience.
Every song is it’s own mini-story/situation from what I’ve heard on this record and she runs the gambit of topics. From love, passion, and relationships, to her own life experiences. Then you have the songs that feel more like abstract concepts that just let the music tell their own stories. Songs like “Black Ocean” & “Silver Stones” are superb tunes to clear your mind and let her music transport you to their own little world. It’s escapism in it’s purest form. Erja’s wonder voice encapsulates these themes and concepts in the most wonderful ways. I have been completely blown away by this record.
Erja, yet again, knocks it out of the park. She is one of the best blues talents working in the industry today. Her guitar skill is incredible and she get elegant and beautiful sounds out of it. Her voice is powerful and beautifully textured. She just has the aura of confidence and passion that keeps you invested in everything she plays. You don’t need me to tell you this, listen to any song in her discography and that will prove it. This new album “Stolen Hearts” is excellent in every way. One to listen to.