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Articles Home » 2016 Articles » Erika - 2016 Deaf Dumb And Blonde
Erika - 2016 Deaf Dumb And Blonde

ALBUM: Deaf Dumb And Blonde
LABEL: Escape Music
YEAR: 2016
SPONSOR: Escape Music - Connecting Music Portal


LINEUP: Erika Norberg - lead and backing vocals, production

Additional Musicians: Jesper Stromblad - guitars, bass * Marcus Blomberg - bass, backing vocals * Alex Angleflod - guitars, keyboards, production * Tommy Denander - guitars, keyboards * Oscar Bromvall, Redas Jefisovas - guitars, backing vocals * Peter Rooth, Johan Flodqvist - guitars * Mic Michaeli - keyboards * The Plura-Sex Society - hand-claps * Sebastian Qvarfordt, Tomas Blade, Lena Borg - backing vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Killer * 02 Heroes Of Heartbreak * 03 Suckerpunch * 04 Drama * 05 Hearts Gone Bad * 06 Sleeping With A Memory * 07 Once Upon A Time * 08 Go Down * 09 Us Fools * 10 One For The Road * 11 Start Your Engine * 12 Warhoney



Three counts according to the album title, and Swedish songstress Erika can only lay claim to one of them: blonde of course. Deaf and dumb? I don't think so. She's been in this industry long enough to know what works for her, and with this new CD, and with a whole bunch of class musicians helping out, Escape Music are onto a good thing here! Erika, as many will remember, went through her AOR phase back in the early 90's. A brace of albums for the Lionheart label, then she phased into hard-pop territory toward the end of that decade. And now in 2016, she manages to combine both together within the confines of a modern production, sharing production duties with Alex Angleflod.

The Songs
We've reviewed albums on both sides of her career divide, and the difference between them is profoundly different. If I had to decide with this new one, it veers more toward what she was trying to achieve with 'Planet X' and 'Ripe', though more hard rock than pop. There's no trace of her 'Cold Winter Night' era, so you can discount that immediately. If I'm cherry-picking songs, then I'll add the opener 'Killer' for maximum impact. It kinda moves in the same direction as Martina Edoff. Some nice touches, vocals, thick guitars and modern synth parts. I quite liked 'Heroes Of Heartbreak' as it shifted between restrained verses and let-loose choruses. 'Hearts Gone Bad' is the album's power-ballad moment, and it works for me. 'Us Fools' follows a similar path and also holds up ok. Both 'Sleeping With A Memory' and 'Go Down' are very heavy-metal, an unusual move for Erika, and demonstrates how varied the material is here. So too 'Warhoney' which is quite an intense track.

In Summary
'Deaf, Dumb And Blonde' might not appeal to everyone here, and could invoke differences of opinion as did Lee Aaron's 'Fire And Gasoline' a few months back. It's certainly not a touch on last years 'Unity' CD from the rather awesome Martina Edoff, which set the bar very high for Swedish female fronted hard rock. If there is any consolation, I did like the production here, which probably made the songs sound better than they actually were. I will also say she's looking real dynamite these day is our Erika, and on a cold winter night (every pun intended), I'd make sure I leave a spare spot for a pair of her slippers.. lol!!

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