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Erika - 1990 Cold Winter Night

ALBUM: Cold Winter Night
LABEL: Lionheart
YEAR: 1990
CD REISSUE: 2004, MTM Music, 0681-87
SPONSOR: RiotOz Distribution


LINEUP: Erika - vocals * Benny Jansson, Bobby Ljunggren, Yngwie Malmsteen - guitars * Hakan Almqvist -keyboards * Johan Akerfeldt, Fredrik Lundfeldt - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Prelude * 02 Together We're Lost * 03 Line Of Fire * 04 Hurting So Bad * 05 Heavenly * 06 Cold Winter Night * 07 Living Like A Hurricane * 08 Love In Vain * 09 Emergency * 10 Last Call For Love * 11 Postlude * 12 Super Sonic City (bonus) * 13 Together We're Lost (Club Mix) * 14 Together We're Lost (Extended Version)

AORsters will take to Swedish rock vixen Erika with gusto. With a suggestive title, and a 'come hither baby' look, one can't help but think about snuggling up to our Erika on a cold Swedish winter night, but I'll think we'll just have to snuggle up to this CD instead. 'Cold Winter Night' was first released in 1990 on the unlikely Lionheart label, and became a bit of a cult classic at the time. A few of these songs did very well on the charts. Recently released as part of the MTM Classix series (I'm not so sure about the classic tag myself, though many others would disagree!), it certainly deserves a spot on GLORY-DAZE at least. The former Mrs Yngwie Malmsteen has more in common with fellow Swedes Roxette than she'd care to admit, and her comparison to the likes of GLORY-DAZE favourite Tone Norum is a bit wide of the mark, though her title as undisputed queen of Swedish Rock is probably undisputed. Still, the songs are a pleasant romp through the Swedish AOR genre; slightly formularized and 'play-by-numbers' mostly, but the exceptional tunes lift it to a higher plane.. not exactly to stellar heights, but definitely off the ground if that's any consolation. On occasion, her vocal styling lends one to thinking she is a female equivalent of singer Jeff 'Lox' Limbo, he of the mighty Danish band Fate (themselves about to make a 2004 return courtesy of MTM-Music.. watch this space!!).

The Songs
The very Roxette flavoured 'Together We're Lost' opens the album, in some places I was caught humming 'Fading Like A Flower' by accident. Oops!! 'Line Of Fire' follows next, sort of ho-hum. On the other hand, 'Hurting So Bad' is so much better.. smooth to the touch, followed by the equally pervasive 'Heavenly'.. oh yes indeed! The coup-de-grace' comes in the shape of the title track 'Cold Winter Night': punchy in the shape of those parping brass lines so reminiscent of `those early 90's Canadian bands, but the chorus sets the scene for this compelling track. 'Living Like A Hurricane' is mid-paced rock which lets loose through the middle.. not bad he said, but I much preferred the last trio of 'Love In Vain', a sort-of power ballad; the fast paced romp of 'Emergency' and the near-bombast 'Last Call For Love'.. all excellent in their own right. A few bonus tracks to boot: the very 70's sounding 'Super Sonic City' a definite harkback to that poppy by-gone era, perhaps out of context on this album but if a contrast was to be provided, then this it. The track actually came from Erika's late 90's era, so it's not that old at all.

In Summary
One qualm about this release is the reasoning behind putting three versions of 'Together We're Lost' onboard. Two of them being bonus tracks. That decision is certainly lost on me. Anyway, nice seeing this out on disc, the fact that it is remastered, and if only for the excuse of taking in the delicious form of Erika once again. I hope the hell she gets the hankering to putting some more music like this in future.. motherhood and all!!

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