Erja Lyytinen: Stolen Hearts Review

Stolen Hearts is the tenth studio album from “Finnish slide goddess” Erja Lyytinen. Chris Kimsey who has worked with INXS, Marillion, Peter Frampton and The Rolling Stones among others, helms the producer’s chair this time around and does an excellent job with this eclectic yet very beautiful mix of songs.

Press play and the first thing that jumps right out of  the speakers is Erja’s guitar tone. She has a a tone that is so well developed that even when she rolls off the overdrive or switches up her rig you still hear a sound that is undeniably hers. The next thing that stands out is her phrasing. To call her a “slide goddess” is a bit of an understatement. While she is an excellent slide player; slide is just one part of what she does. At times she reminds me of David Gilmour, and at other times I hear some Robben Ford. In the guitar world there is a lot of talk about “playing for the song.” Erja’s work on Stolen Hearts is a guitar lesson on that concept.

Stolen Hearts is a rather eclectic mix of tunes. There are serious rockers like “Rocking Chair” and “Black Ocean” as well as very light and breezy moments like “Love Laboratory” and “Silver Stones” and some very beautiful ballads like “Broken Eyes” and “24 Angles.” The danger with a collection like this is that you can easily end up with something that feels like a 1970’s variety show and not a cohesive collection. What Erja and producer Chris Kimsey were able to do was to connect this eclectic collection in a very artful way. The result is a very cohesive sounding record that has no jarring jumps in style or production and yet acknowledges the individual personality of each track with appropriate sounds and performance.

On this record Erja is more of a AAA (Adult Album Alternative) artist than a blues artist. Stolen Hearts reminds me a bit of a harder edged, more contemporary Nick Of Time by Bonnie Raitt. It has great guitar work, great singing, great songs and production that serves the entire record perfectly while pushing the boundaries of the artist’s sound and genre. There are elements of blues here but there is a lot more here too.

The Review: 8.5/10

Can’t Miss Tracks

-24 Angels
– Rocking Chair
– Black Ocean
– Stolen Hearts
– Broken Eyes

The Big Hit 

– 24 Angels

Review by Lou Lombardi

Buy the album: Amazon | Amazon UK

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