Angelica – Thrive
Frontiers Records – 2013
This was a real pleasant surprise. Angelica Rylin, the lead vocalist of Swedish rock band The Murder of My Sweet has created a melodic rock album in the tradition of Heart and Fiona that’s sure to entrap you.
From the first harmonic rocking tune “Breaking My Heart”, it’s obvious that Angelica has a big-time voice that will command your attention. I find the European accent of her voice very alluring. Primal Fear axe-man Magnus Karlsson provides a tasty guitar solo and the instrumentation from Per Berquist (guitar), Daniel Flores (drums, keyboards, backing vocals) and Johan Niemann (bass) are critical to the musical quality.
Angelica makes a statement that she’s not a push over in “I Am Strong.” It’s the kind of song you’d hear Shania Twain sing but fits perfectly on this release.
I think “To Your Rescue” might be the most important song on the album. It’s got a gigantic hook with music that is brilliantly performed. The lyrics are such that anyone could relate to them. It has a kind of feel I’d describe as a Richard Marx song sung by Celine Dion. Definitely has hit potential. It’s also short and sweet, perfect for the radio.
You can really hear Angelica’s native accent at the beginning of “Can’t Stop Love.” I like the torpedo sounding keyboard and Angelica unleashes quite a bit of her passion with her voice in this tune. Mats Lindfors plays a nice guitar solo. I can visualize this song for every major female voice out there. It’s that radio ready.
“Nothing Else You Can Break” sounds like it came from one of Heart’s chart-topping albums from the mid-to-late 80s.
There is no way you will be able to stop yourself from singing along with Angelica after hearing “Riding Out The Storm” a few times. The harmony of her voice will latch onto you. It’s so fluidly catchy that you may not notice the music behind her but that’s a credit to her band.
Angelica has real playfulness to her vocals in “Rain On My Parade.” The music works along with this frolicsome approach.
Angelia’s vocal control is staggering in “Loser in Paradise.” The clean guitar sounds great. I like the creative muted sounding percussion in the softer moments. This is the type of song that could blow-up if it was performed on American Idol or The Voice, because it shows off her ability.
“You Will Never Win” is more up-tempo bringing energy to the disc. “The Kiss Is Just For You” carries the promise that a lot of guys would like to experience. Sparked with flirtatious meaning, it’s all harmless fun.
Angelica takes a strong stance about the relationship she’s in during “I’m Not Waiting.” Heavier guitar riffs and more forceful drums back her position on the subject.
James LaBrie stalwart keyboardist Matt Guillory adds his talents to “Take Me To Your Heart.” Chugging guitars support Angelica letting loose her voice.
Thrive is not only Angelica Rylin’s debut solo album but her dream project. It’s obvious by the overall caliber, the high-level talent behind this and the passionate commitment devoted to it. I can’t’ really see anyone not liking it. In fact, I think most people will love it.