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Erika - 1998 Ripe




ARTIST: Erika
ALBUM: Ripe
LABEL: D:Pop Records (Japan)
SERIAL: DRCP-25028
YEAR: 1998

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Erika - lead vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Blank Generation * 02 Do You * 03 Yum Yummy! * 04 So Sad But True * 05 A Go-Go * 06 She Sleeps On Roses * 07 Baby Alien * 08 Bangkok * 09 What's The Matter * 10 Monkey Inside * 11 Suburban Sky * 12 If There's A God


Background
Swedish songbird Erika Norgren will forever be remembered as the short-term trophy wife of guitarist Yngwie Malmsteen. The blonde bombshell was always more to do with looks rather than substance unfortunately. I've never been that crazy over Erika's singing voice. Admittedly she has other more appreciable assets, being a good looking girl and all that. After a trio of AOR like albums during the early 90's, it was a surprise to see her change direction for her next two CD's released toward the latter end of the 90's decade. It was a direction prompted by her second husband Richard Evenlind. Now going down the punk-pop path instead, she sounds good in this genre truth be told, with both her 'Planet X' and 'Ripe' CD's tailor-made for the Japanese market. Sometimes it takes a couple of tries to work out your image and your sound, and I think she got it right for those two albums. Just look at Cher and Olivia Newton-John as a couple of examples of overblown visual imagery.


The Songs
I'm not quite sure who actually plays on this album, but I'd hazard a guess it is the same lineup as that which appeared on the previous years 'Planet X' album. It's all very much like The Runaways but in a different decade. Throw in a couple of other punk-pop princesses and Erika fits in like a delicate hand to a lace glove. Admittedly the lyrics and music aren't going to win awards for originality, but it is what it is, I kinda like it. There are many songs with infectious grooves and choruses such as 'Do You', 'A Go Go', 'Baby Alien', 'Bangkok' and 'Monkey Inside'. Erika does change the pace as well, mid-tempo and balladry rears its head on tunes such as 'So Sad But True', 'She Sleeps On Roses', 'What's The Matter' and 'Suburban Sky'.


In Summary
By 1999 however, Erika had decided that she'd had enough of the music industry, and duly retired from it and urban living, and headed out into the countryside to become a mom and a writer. Good on her! The compilation CD from 1999 called 'Super Trax' is a compilation of material from 'Planet X' and 'Ripe'.


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