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Album review: Ida Maria's 'Fortress Around My Heart'

April 14, 2009 |  5:06 pm

Ida If all Ida Maria accomplished in music was writing the 2008 single "Oh My God," she'd have one more immaculate three-minute punk raveup than most musicians pen in a lifetime. But after much blogland ado and a few rapturous, booze-sodden L.A. shows, the Norwegian finally gets her whole album "Fortress Round My Heart" on American shores this week. (Like the Silversun Pickups, she'll also perform at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival this weekend.)

If there's anything the national mood needs right now, it's a dervish of lusty, heartsick rock that prefers the friendship of Jack, Jim and Jose (nee Daniels, Beam and Cuervo) to the sad-panda malaise of most chart-bound female singer-songwriters.

"Oh My God" is the opening shot across the bow, but the forthrightly titled "I Like You So Much Better When You're Naked" is the album's centerpiece. A jittery future jukebox staple, it's an ode to the pleasures of dim-bulb beautiful boys but also a sly hint to the insecurities that persuade smart girls to take them home.

She makes time for more gentle numbers, like the misty empty-bed ballad "Keep Me Warm," but the general mood is a tough pirouette -- a party album where staying out is your best defense from going home.

--August Brown

Ida Maria
"Fortress Around My Heart"
Upper 11 Records
Three stars