Ida Maria – Fortress Round My Heart

January 01, 1970

(Upper 11/Fontana)

 

www.upper11.com

 

It’s going to be hard for anyone to get past Track 4 on the
debut album by this extremely likable 24-year-old Norwegian singer. It’s a
sexy-funny blast of perfect pop called “I Like You So Much Better When You’re
Naked.” Catchy and propulsive as anything from the pogo-crazed days of early
New Wave, it’s winning because it’s so damn cheeky yet not lurid or leering.
It’s actually sweet and vulnerable, completely unpretentious and uncalculated –
the opposite of Katie Perry. Kids and their parents could find themselves both
singing along when this comes on the car radio. (Are there still car radios?)
Ida Maria’s hyper-expressive, conversational talk-singing, coupled with the
back-up chanting on the chorus, require this standout song to be played
repeatedly.

 

If you ever do get past it, you’ll find that the singer and
her tight three-piece band have assimilated all sorts of rock influences very
well, and perform them with a giddy rush. The propulsive opener, “Oh My God,”
has the drive of Chrissie Hynde’s “Kid,” and there’s plenty of Suzi
Quatro/Blondie power-pop fueled with Bjork-like spiky vocal swoops, shouts and
quieter asides throughout the album’s ten short songs. “Stella” is a moving,
yearning song about “a 43-year-old hooker from downtown” in which Ida Maria’s
emotional voice flirts with rawness; the little laugh she incorporates into
“Morning Light” is seductive.

 

Naked or not, you’ll like pop music so much better in 2009
with Ida Maria around.

 

Standout Tracks: “Louie,” “Oh My God” STEVEN
ROSEN

 

 

[Ida Maria is
interviewed in the debut print edition of BLURT, currently on newsstands everywhere.
The title of the feature? “Naked Ambition,” natch.
]

 

 

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