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Lotta Lené - Smoke And Mirrors


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Review from 0dayrox2:


LOTTA LENE is a professional singer from Finland which works as session musician but also runs his own band mixing own material with covers of rock&pop classics from different decades. Now Lotta has recorded her debut album entitled "Smoke & Mirrors", a wonderful slice of Melodic Rock / AOR tunes with an unmistakable '80s sound.

"Smoke & Mirrors" features songs composed by Lotta Lené (real name Lotta Nieminen) with her guitarist Jake Mäkelä, who also is the arranger, producer and plays all the instruments on the album.
This 10-track CD is a pure joy for all fans of female fronted '80s Melodic Rock / AOR in the vein of Robin Beck, Sandi Saraya, Bonnie Tyler, Heart's Ann Wilson and why not, present songstress Issa. Lotta owns the kind of strong toned vocals that made female Rock singers popular twenty five years ago.


All songs are build over the classic mould for the genre with a Scandinavian feel, some with strong guitars as on the soaring opener "What I Want" which somehow reminds me of Vixen. Lotta rocks here and Jake Mäkelä guitar work is impressive, with clever keyboard arrangements.
"Seven Days" is prime AOR of the highest order, pumping, vital. Melodic vocals, sharp six-string riffs and a keyboard heaven on this one, with awesomely arranged layers of harmony vocals (all performed by Lotta).
This song alone worth the disc!

"Stay" is much more melodic rock oriented with a '89 Robin Beck style, however Lotta vocals here bring to my mind another excellent female singer: Canadian Luba.
Then "Skin" delivers another soaring performance and an uptempo melodic rock structure. Again, Mäkelä shines on the guitar with stupendous riffs. His staccato progression before the solo is excellent. Seriously, this guy is top notch!
"Promises" returns to soaring AOR with more and more layers of harmonies, followed by the groovy "I Don't Mind", and then the midtempo "Riding Shotgun" with some Heart on it.


"Here And Now" starts slowly with some acoustics, but raises into a meaty rocker with some different vocal inflections by Lotta, showcasing her versatility.
"Close Your Eyes (Save The Night)" returns to the pumping melodic rock territory filled with punchy guitars and lots of keys, and the lead vocals are delivered an octave lower than the regular from Lotta. Very nice.
"Rain" is really Scandinavian, perhaps the more modern cut of the lot but the keyboards are all over, and Mäkelä's rhythm guitars are to die for.

What can I say... "Smoke & Mirrors" is great.
Lotta Lené is an awesome singer, rich in textures, powerful and super-melodic. And she have the incredibly talented Jake Mäkelä providing the music, a killer guitarist, tasteful keyboardist (there's lots of classic synths all over here), and arranger.
It must to be said that Mäkelä also plays the groovy bass lines, and has programmed the drums too, but forget the typical cheap sound, not at all, these feel like real drums. Yes guys, with today's technology it is possible to use programmed drums sounding better than a human player. Another proof of Mäkelä's talent.


Fans of pure '80s AOR with a touch of a Scandi sound, you need to check Lotta Lené's "Smoke & Mirrors" NOW.
Released few days ago by herself, still is not available worldwide. There's a digital version at selected countries (featuring only 8 tracks), and on physical CD only in Finland.



Teaser: https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=804581012966041&set=vb.210527255704756&type=2&theater

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I love Scandi AOR so much, especially when it's a female singer with a strong accent.


Have a nice weekend!

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I love Scandi AOR so much, especially when it's a female singer with a strong accent.



If you'd said "hate" instead of "love" I'd agree with you 100%.


Anyway, I liked the music track on the 3rd song but that's about all I can say about all that. Otherwise it does very little for me, and yeah, the vocals are dreadful.

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  • My Little Pony

I love Scandi AOR so much, especially when it's a female singer with a strong accent.


Have a nice weekend!


See, I wouldn't say she has a strong accent. I've heard women over here in Canada sound the same. She simply doesn't have a strong voice.

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