Review: Erja Lyytinen – Forbidden Fruit

Posted on: Thursday, Feb 7, 2013

erja lyytinen.jpg

Erja Lyytinen – Forbidden Fruit

(Ruf Records: RUF1188)

I first became aware of Erja and her fledgling talents when I first saw her performing with Aynsley Lister and Ian Parker on the Blues Caravan Tour DVD back in 2006 and I think there can be no doubt now that her vocal and guitar skills have certainly evolved and matured greatly over the last six years. Nowadays, she commands and deserves centre stage to fully express her sometimes breathy but, undoubted richly mature ringing vocals and devastating guitar work.

Apart from the highly impressive group of musicians that are; Davide Floreno; acoustic and electric guitars, Roger Inniss; bass, Miri Miettinen; drums and Harri Taittonen; keyboards, that join Erja, the lady herself plays to great effect lead, acoustic, electric guitars, slide guitar and keyboards.

The first thing that strikes you upon the laser hitting the plastic is the diversity of influences, from the opening breezy West Coast optimism of “Joyful Misery”, which itself is ripped into by a stark, lyrically stirring blues guitar solo. To the mixing of cool, cool jazz riffs and vocals on “Hold On Together”, with shuffling blues guitar threading into and surfacing through. On Son Houses’ “Death Letter” Erjas’ softly weaving vocals and equally soft slide wonderfully unfurl its unpleasant and stark message.

The comforting swaying harmonies of the bittersweet love story that is, “At Least We Still Fight”, seamlessly complement the emotional slide that is featured while firmly settling you down, completely relaxed.

“Forbidden Fruit”, utilises the same cheery sounding harmonies; but, with a bitter and cold twist that metaphorically leaves you with an unpleasant taste in the mouth.  The deceptive slowburner that is “Change of Season” mixes Nordic chills with sweet warm passion, the use of electric and acoustic guitars lusciously emphasise the sudden changes that we all sometimes experience.

“Press My Button” is jolly little slowly swinging slide driven shuffle that is packed with innuendos’. A timely reminder of fiscal depression and food scarcity is well documented on the slow, slow slide driven shuffling “Things, About Coming My Way”, a sobering mixture of jollity of tune and sombreness of lyric.



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