Issa - Run with the Pack

Issa Run with the Pack cover
Run with the Pack
Frontiers Music Srl
Almost a decade and five albums in, Norweigian vocalist, Isabell Øversveen, which from the go has been given Frontiers Records undivided attention, but doesn’t seem to have managed a lot still, despite all the prestigious guest and help she’s been given.
On her fifth album Øversveen continues her American rock aspiration, but while almost every successful vocalist in the genre had some sort of grit in the voice, hers is a smalzy, girly voice, instead of a more mature rock voice. She’s not terrible, by any means, but she’s no powerhouse either.
Opener “Am I Loosing you?” sounds like a flimsier Robin Beck track, without the power or the gusto, while the title track that follows it has an urgent chorus, over lackluster verses, but at least it’s driven by a neat riff, still the performance leaves quite a bit to be desired, with the vocals too being mixed too low.
“Sacrifice Me”, a duet With Deen Castronovo, is a decent enough track, but he more than steals the show and thunder from Issa.
“How Long” continues the close but no cigar, tease with the vocals again mixed low, probably to avoid embarrassment.
“The Sound of Yesterday” felt like some mediocre AOR (the band) leftover, mellow and going through the motions, without any real substance, other than a pretty decent solo.
“Come Back Again” goes into higher gear, but it’s not enough, plus the heavy chuggy guitar, that’s featured on a number of songs, doesn’t feel exactly fitting, quite a basic, unrefined tone, really.
“Talk to Your Heart” sounds like it could be a pretty impressive power ballad, but only if it was handled by someone with sufficient range and power.
“Bittersweet” is another piano into heavy guitars number that pretty much goes nowhere in particular and another waste of some nice soloing.
“Closer to You” is a marked improvement over the previous, one of the better songs on offer here.
“Irreplaceable” is a standard ballad that doesn’t brim with inspiration and feels rather run of the mill.
“Everything to Me” is a power ballad that feels a bit derivative when it comes to the chorus, to a local Eurovision entry.
“Talk to Your Heart” (acoustic version) offers a more minimal instrumentation that allows the song to breathe, but it still exposes a decent, but far from breaking performance that lacks in power.
Overall, something that I could only recommend only to wool-eyed melodic fans that are not as critical. Average at best.