Ida Maria, I'm pretty sure I'd like you better when you're naked too.

When I first heard the low raspy female rocker singing about liking him so much better when he's naked I was floored... this ballsy Norwegian broad has captured my entire dating history in one song, and it's catchy as shit with a groovy bass line and a breakdown that forces your feet to move to the beat. Needless to say I'm in love. This one song took up 80% of my Ipod's battery power for an entire month before I decided I probably should see what else my new idol had to offer.
Her debut album (Fortress Round My Heart) although released July 2008, has just gained recognition and radio play in Canada/US recently. Although the single "Better When You're Naked" offers to give female pop punk a new 'tough as nails' makeover, the rest of the album doesn't exactly follow close behind. Playing right into the angst-ridden women songwriters club that is dominated by artists like Regina Spektor and newbie Kelsey Wild, the rest of her album has a few too many slow heart-wrenching pieces of artistically written emotional cries for attention than I expected. With the potential to become the edgier version of Kate Nash with her faster tracks, Ida unfortunately falls short where Kate has enough upbeat, and more importantly happy, tunes to keep your attention focused and your feet moving. Instead, Ida packs full her album with slower cries of heartbreak that threaten listeners to keel over crying with every other song. Ida simply did not deliver the impression that her single promises; instead of an empowering, 'girls rule and boys drool' girly Punk-Rawk album it proved to be more of a bitter plea for love, (ex:"I call you up to say I love you, you only call me when you're drunk." -- Track #6 Forgive Me.) just like every other sorry sad sack floozy has to offer. Can you say OVER IT!
At this point it sounds like I hated the album. This isn't the case, I'm sorry to mislead you. Disappointed in it? YES. Hated it? NO. Why not? you might ask, considering all the previous evidence that is enough to condemn the album to the bottom of my garbage. I'll tell you why not... despite the majority of the album sucking the life out of me there are a few songs that completely redeem this doughy-eyed brunette, and they are as follows:
Track #7 Queen Of The World. The very first line is "Whiskey please, I need some whiskey please"... and it is far from sad and lonely. When the bongo-like drums kick in the song quickly picks up the pace and immediately makes me regret talking so much shit about the album already, and aside from the vocals it even reminds me of something the fantastic band Fake Problems would play.
Track #8 Louie. Again she comes at you with an upbeat melody about alcohol consumption, something about always being drunk (here here!) where she shows a less aggressive side of her voice and amazing range.
Track #9 Drive Away My Heart manages to keep the pace but regretfully reverts back to the woe is me crap singing "love will be my grave"... where is that dominating diva I once envisioned!?
With influences stemming from Siouxie and the Banshee's and The Cardigans, Ida still manages to earn my respect, especially through that voice of hers. Although very similar to those mentioned earlier (Spektor, Wild, Nash) she exudes a sort of sexy crackle that is enough to give even this girl a half wood.

I'm Sarah. I do what I want.