Issa - Lights In Japan

Issa – Lights Of Japan


Norwegian singer Issa Oversveen is back with a new album in early 2023.

Written by: gdmonline

ALBUM: Lights Of Japan
LABEL: Frontiers SRL
YEAR: 2023

LINEUP: Issa Oversveen-Martin – vocals * Michele Guaitoli – guitars, bass * Marco Pastorino – rhythm guitar * James Martin – keyboards * Marco Andreetto – drums

Additional Musicians: Giovanni Barbetta – Saxophone (#5) * Robby Luckets – guitar solos (#1, 2, 3, 7, 8) *John Mitchell – guitar solo (#9)

TRACK LISTING: 01 Live Again * 02 Lights Of Japan * 03 Seize The Day * 04 Stop The Rain * 05 Moon Of Love * 06 Chains * 07 Fight To Survive * 08 It’s Over * 09 I Give You My Heart * 10 Shadow To The Light * 11 I’ll Be Waiting

RATING: 60/100



Norwegian Issa Oversveen is back with a new album in early 2023, after being off our radar since 2021’s ‘Queen Of Broken Hearts’. I never got around to reviewing that album, our last write-up of hers was 2018’s ‘Run With The Pack’, which didn’t really set the bunsen burner on fire in comparison to Issa’s superior earlier albums.

Husband James Martin does most of the songwriting heavy lifting, so it’s no surprise that some of the tunes have a flavor similar to his most recent outfit Vega, but that’s about where the comparison ends. Issa’s high vocal range takes it in a different direction and the high parts do become a bit overwhelming at times, and if you’re not used to it, the result could be offputting.

The Songs

Musically it seems everything is in order, the energy of ‘Live Again’ propels this one off the start line in quick time. ‘Lights Of Japan’ is the first highlighted track from the album, given an official video (see below). A reasonably good track but the solo kinda went nowhere, not even to Japan. I enjoyed the guitar riff on the tough sounding ‘Seize The Day’ which is more like the Issa of old.

‘Stop The Rain’ I wasn’t that keen on, the environmental message should be kept to other medium in my opinion, like a podcast. Unfortunately I had to skip through ‘Moon Of Love’ because of the saxophone which wasn’t a good musical fit. Who’s idea was that? ‘Chains’ is much better, a faster paced track better suited to the voice and music. ‘Fight To Survive’ is a pumping rocker that has good moments throughout. Again unfortunately, the guitar solo wasn’t memorable.

‘It’s Over’ is a semi-stomping rocker which was middle of the road in terms of appeal and interest. More guitar noodling that was ineffective and pointless. ‘I Give You My Heart’ is the sole ballad, musically well produced and sung. Ill take it.. ‘Shadow To The Light’ was a bit flat to these ears. Much better is ‘I’ll Be Waiting’, one of about four tracks that got a pass mark, but it should have been higher up the track order.

In Summary

I’ll admit that Issa’s first four albums were quite decent, but somewhere along the way the recipe has changed and her most recent material is not as engaging as the earlier stuff. I’m.not quite sure why that is. In the meantime I’ll keep this on the current playlist, just in case my ears picks up on something that I may have missed, but I remain dubious.


Lights Of Japan

Issa - "Lights Of Japan" - Official Music Video

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