Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Fortress Round My Heart
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
Born and raised in the icy Norwegian stillness of the Arctic Circle, Ida Maria brought a new cool to the top of the pops when her first single release in the UK, "I Like You So Much Better When You're Naked" hit #13 on the... more »
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Born and raised in the icy Norwegian stillness of the Arctic Circle, Ida Maria brought a new cool to the top of the pops when her first single release in the UK, "I Like You So Much Better When You're Naked" hit #13 on the national chart and sent her debut album, FORTRESS ROUND MY HEART straight inside the Top 40. FORTRESS ROUND MY HEART - which drew 4 star UK reviews in Q magazine and The Guardian - has now been signed to Mercury Records, and will be distributed by Fontana in a close collaboration with a March 24th digital release. "I Like You So Much Better When You're Naked" was officially released as a digital single in the U.S. earlier this week (on February 24th). Ida Maria's song "Oh My God" will be used in all the Gossip Girl promos for this season. Originally airing 2/23, the promos will continue for months ahead! On the heels of her 30-show, sold-out headlining UK tour in November, four critically acclaimed showcases in Los Angeles and New York, and NME's prestigious Shockwaves Awards show earlier this month - Ida Maria and her band (Stefan Törnby on lead guitar, bassist Johannes Lindberg, drummer Olle Lundin) will play their first U.S. tour in March. Kickoff is the South By Southwest (SXSW) Music and Media Conference in Austin, Texas, March 18-22. Dates will continue in New Orleans, Atlanta, Washington DC, West Chester (PA), Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Boston. Ida Maria will return to the U.S. for a performance at the Coachella Festival in California on April 18th. 24-year old Ida (pronounced ee-dah) Maria grew up in Nesna, Norway, a university town of fewer than 2000 people north of the 66th latitude. When she moved to the great city of Bergen as a teen, she rubbed shoulders with everyone from metal bands to avant garde jazz musicians and bluegrass singer-songwriters. There she "discovered the inner beast that was hiding in my vocal chords." At the same time, she developed into a formidable songwriter, informed by a benign variant of synaesthesia, a rare condition in which perception in one sense mode arouses imagery from another, so that one can see sounds or hear colors, for example. Following the success of "I Like You So Much Better When You're Naked," "Oh My God" was issued as a new single, and earned a 4 star review from RollingStone.com. Time magazine placed the song at # 3 on their "Top Ten List of Everything in 2008," praising her "powerhouse voice - deep, commanding, a little masculine, exotic, too, like Nico, but with an abundance rather than an absence of feeling."
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Chris Damon | New Jersey | 07/22/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I first saw Ida Maria on March 30, 2009 at Webster Hall in New York City when she/they opened for Glasvegas. I knew nothing about her then, but I liked what I heard and got the CD "Fortress Around My Heart". After a little research I found out she was from Norway (she had a foreign accent at the show - and cursed quite frequently! For some reason when someone with a foreign accent curses it seems to soften the impact quite a lot.)
Just a trivial note, the U.S. cover art differs from the European cover art, but the songs remain the same.
Her First song, "Oh My God" starts out with her singing "Thank You For My Life" then breaks into a rocking chorus of "Oh My God Oh You Think I'm In Control" which for your own sake you better hope she is, the way she is carrying on with a minimal yet substantial angst. This song is a good opener, I guess foreshadowing some of what's to come.
"Morning Light" is a nice indie-pop song, witch catchy hooks and just a hint of anger, especially wen she sings "...and you've got a polished mask, Yeah it looks like s**t". I think this song refers to waking up with someone after a night of heavy drinking.
Ida's "hit" single off of "Fortress Round My Heart" has got to be "I Like You So Much Better When You're Naked". Heck, I'm sure I'd like her better too when she's naked, she's not bad looking. This is a good song, but I'm usually one that likes some of the other songs on an album better than the singles, but you know this song is BIG in the clubs and I'm sure after a few beers I'd be really into this song.
"Stella" is very MOR and will probably appear on some soft rock playlists, not a very substantial track, but I wouldn't turn it off either.
"Keep Me Warm" is a ballad where she doesn't "wanna play any theatre for you, I don't wanna stage a single piece for you", She just wants you to keep her warm! This song I would skip if I were downloading, there's not really much to it.
The next song, "Forgive Me" picks it up a little. It's about a mistaken love affair with "cold cold kisses" and being kept like an "old sofa you found in a second-hand store". Ouch! She finally realizes she's not wanted and asks for forgiveness "For running down your door ...I Promise I won't do that anymore, I promise I won't do that anymore." This is a good song, her voice cracks as she screams a lot throughout the track. Download this one.
"Queen Of The World" is ok, I like the drum beats, then it speeds up at the chorus with some catchy parts before it settles down back to the drum beats and repeats the chorus again. It's a happier song than most on the album. You can bob your head to this one.
"Louie" is another head bopper, indie poppy song that is happier than "Queen of The World". I really like this one a lot. She just wants to know if he has room for her. I like the lyric "Oh, nobody know, why some are born, with empty holes, like twisted souls". I would download this one too.
I didn't like the way "Drive Away My Heart" began, but it got better, and now, I'm not so into it. Ida's voice is very droney in this track and lagging. She reminds me a little of Stevie Nicks here, a person whose vocals I'm not too fond of. Skip if downloading, unless you like that kind of stuff.
The finally track, "In The End" is another ballad which you can probably skip if you are downloading, it is just "fill".
Overall, Ida Maria's "Fortress `Round' My Heart" is rather mediocre. I was seriously expecting more. She is better live than in the studio, plus I had a few beers at the show, which may have made her seem better than I thought. If you are downloading tracks from this album I would choose: "Morning Light", "I Like You So Much Better When You're Naked", "Forgive Me", and "Louie"."
Alternative? Punk? Everyone is talking about the new sound
John P. Thiel | Astoria, Queens, New York City | 07/14/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Typically, when I order an album from an artist I never heard of it turns out to be a mistake, and I swear to myself I'll never do it again. Especially if I'm in the position of having to review the album, I hate to write anything negative--as I must it seems--because it belittles the hard work and years of commitment these artists put into their music. This time, I don't have any such problems because this album is terrific in every way.
Thank goodness I ignored the warning signs, such as the labels "Alternative" and "Punk." Seriously, why is any popular music out of the U.K. labeled "Alternative" and what the hell does that mean anyway? Seems like unless it's from the British Invasion era, it's considered Alternative Music. As for Punk, as a guy who grew up in the 80's I'd have to say this album reminds me more of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and not the least of Sid Vicious.
I especially like the live sound of this recording and suspect--note to self: read the album cover--this was recorded live to track rather than with the musicians coming in separately on a schedule. I would be very suprised if this band didn't sound even better live--as most performers these days can't pull off, relying more on technology than musicianship.
I love that none of the music sounds commercial--perhaps that's what "Alternative" means--and yet it's upbeat and energetic. Every song is very positive. No ballads of depression or songs that tread on our already overworn like of trendy or catchy commercial music.
My favorite song on here is "Queen of the World" and feel it's the best example of the tone of the album.
Like I said, I wont nitpick or tell you what to think of this album, but I will say that if you're looking for something to try, something that you're very bound to just plain like, I would definitely recommend this album.
BOTTOM LINE: You'll be singing it in the shower in no time."
Good solid pop
Burritoman "USA" | Pennsylvania | 07/12/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I'm not a big pop music listener. But I know what's good, and this cd is."