Ferdi : It's not very difficult to find sappy quotes from the Swedish singer Erika. In the ten years that she wrote and sang music she established a love-hate relationship with the Swedish tabloid-press. A press which was never shy on trying to squeeze as much controversy as possible into their headlines. The press-release that I received with this cd contained a handful of those quotes. "Men are like chocolates: the richer the better”. About her marriage with guitargod Ynwie Malmsteen. "Good shopping is better than mediocre sex”. She gave the journalists one last kick during her last performance in '99: "I am retiring, so you've got to find someone else to write your crappy reviews about.”
With scandals such as these it'd be easy to forget what is truly important: the music. Erika's debut-album 'Cold Winter Nights' was originally released in 1990 and is now reissued through MTM Classics. The album was quite successful at the time. The first single 'Together We Are Lost' made it to the top spot of the Swedish charts and seemingly overnight the album became gold. Four other albums followed, until Erika decided in 1999 to exchange the mic for a career as a mother and a journalist.
The cd 'Cold Winter Nights' might be 13 years old by now, the classic pop/rock on the cd remains timeless. It doesn't take a genius to figure that Erika is a truly great singer with a sweet voice to make any any man's heart burn faster than before. Her voice fits in somewhere between Marie Frederiksson, Madonna and Lita Ford, with a lot of soul in it. The music itself is quite stunning. The poppy rock (or rocky pop, more like) share a lot of traits with Roxette and Per Gessle's solo-efforts. Here and there resemblances with Europe, Whitesnake and aor-muscisian Mark Spiro can be recognised, although Erika sounds a lot sweeter by comparison.
MTM's reissue of this cd comes at exactly the right time of the year. Iin a time where the short days and the cold weather yield nostalgic feelings amongst musicfans, releasing such a classic-sounding pop-rock album is a very good idea indeed. Because this album is a classic, with good songs that have stood the test of time, great melodies and good singing. This remastered cd comes with three bonustracks, of which the song 'Living Like A hurricane' is the most interesting.
The cd is never really loud or very rock or metal. Heavy guitars are conspicuous by their absence, and the drums sound artificial and electronic. In fact, the label 'pop' fits it much more than 'rock' or 'aor'. Perhaps that fact alone is enough to put off many of the LoM-readers. It doesn't change anything about the fact that, as far as popmusic goes, it doesn't get much better than 'Cold Winter Nights'.