Issa - Can't Stop

Issa – Can’t Stop


Issa and her new team have delivered a solid set of renditions which are kept close to the originals as possible.

Written by: gdmonline

ALBUM: Can’t Stop
LABEL: Frontiers
YEAR: 2012
SPONSOR: Frontiers Haulix

LINEUP: Issa (Isabel Oversveen-Martin) – lead vocals * Mario Percudani – guitars * Anna Portalupi – bass * Alessandro Del Vecchio – keyboards, organ * Alessandro Mori – drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Can’t Stop * 02 Power Over Me * 03 Wherever You Run * 04 Just A Wish * 05 If You Ever Fall * 06 Do You Ever Think Of Me * 07 Dream On * 08 Stranded * 09 Heat Of The Night * 10 I Won’t Surrender * 11 State Of Love * 12 These Eyes
RATING: 90/100



Isabel Oversveen has been a regular reviewee here at GDM since her 2010 debut for Frontiers. I’ve enjoyed her voice on those two albums and was especially pleased to hear of this 2012 AOR classics and covers CD.

This is a significant change for our Norwegian AOR Songstress; one of a number of changes that has occurred over the last few years. Issa has left Norway for the comparatively summery climes of Yorkshire after marrying AOR beau James Martin; yes he of Sugartown and Vega fame. If you’ve seen the recent EPK for this CD you will have noticed her newly acquired Yorkshire accent shining through.

The other major change is the addition of a new band. Well not so new to many of us here. Percudani, Portalupi, Del Vecchio and Mori have also provided backing for Mitch Malloy and French sisters Chasing Violets in recent weeks. Issa flew over to Milan to undertake sessions which resulted in a specially selected set of AOR memorabilia being recorded.

The Songs

The album title is named after the track found on that legendary Aviator album from 1986, given a 21st century update with female vocals taking over. The musical interpretation from our Italian friends sounds pretty damned damn good to my ears, full and ripping. Second stop is Atlantic‘s 1994 AOR affair ‘Power Over Me’, which comes completes with its totally recognisable chorus. Surely memorable for that reason.

I love the faster-paced pulsing version of the Regatta track ‘Wherever You Run’, more so than the 1989 original which was pretty good too. Portalupi and Mori storm the house down with an incredible back-end to this great version, though Issa’s vocals are the hundreds and thousands over the top of a superb rendition.

‘Just A Wish’ is a cover of the 21 Guns track from their 1992 debut CD ‘Salute’. Issa’s vocal performance is very close to Tommy Laverdi’s, and good to hear it updated, so much so that ‘Salute’ is on my play-list this week.

Trying to emulate Tone Norum‘s ‘If You Ever Fall’ was always going to be a big ask. The original is one of the best slices of female AOR ever, but Issa and her band give it a go nonetheless. De Vecchio uses the organ rather than clean and linear synths, he uses the same patterns that Seal used on his 1991 hit ‘Crazy’.

‘Do You Ever Think Of Me’ was first heard on Unruly Child‘s 1998 CD ‘Waiting For The Sun’. A brooding track with a hint of Jeff Scott Soto in the delivery. Anytime I hear anything about the Canadian band BLVD I get excited. So when Issa gave ‘Dream On’ an update on this CD, the excito-meter went through the roof. This version is a rollicking version I have to say. Perhaps not as clinical in delivery as the original but I’m happy nonetheless.

The version of ‘Stranded’ covered here is the 1991 Tangier one, not the Jaime Kyle-Heart one. This is a slow-mid tempo southern styled ballad which suits Mario Percudani’s mostly bluesy style to a tee. Issa’s voice is surprisingly good too given the change in style and arrangement.

There have been many songs titled ‘Heat Of The Night’ over the years. The version that Issa tackles was first heard on Worrall‘s 1991 album. This is very smooth AOR true to the original version. I played Issa’s version side by side with the original and both come out smelling roses.

‘I Won’t Surrender’ is a version of Steelhouse Lane‘s imperious track. An absolute 90’s favourite, and exceptionally difficult to cover to the same level of the original but admirable for sure.

‘State Of Love’ was first heard on Mark Free‘s ‘Long Way From Love’, a bold move covering one of AOR’s greatest singers but Issa’s rendition is fantastic. Great synth work from Del Vecchio and the arrangement is one for the books.

‘These Eyes’ is another track taken from 21 Guns ‘Salute’ CD. The pitch is slightly higher than Tommy Laverdi originally sang it, plus this cover is slightly fuller in sound. So all guns blazing then.

In Summary

Issa and her new team have delivered a solid set of renditions which are kept close to the originals as possible. This is one album I’ll be playing for a few weeks yet. I think the proof will be if-when this team can play these songs live.

I’m certain that it will be amazing to see live, witnessing such songs as ‘Dream On’, ‘Can’t Stop’ etc. This CD cements Issa’s reputation within the melodic rock-AOR genre, and hopefully we can see other women taking up the challenge to join this elite group.


Can’t Stop (Official Video)

Issa - Can't Stop (Official Video)

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