Christina Skjolberg

Christina Skjolberg 03Christina was born and raised on the island of Smøla outside Kristiansund on the Northwest coat of Norway.  She was unknown to most people when she entered the Norwegian blues stage a couple of years ago, but she has already left a solid impression after visiting many of the blues clubs in the country.

A blonde, female left handed guitar player is a rare find in itself, but with talent and skills to match the best of the breed, Christina really is a unique package that’s hard to match.

Europe’s got the blues: though sometimes fluctuating in quality, we’ve come to expect a steady stream of blues rock that sticks to its roots from our neighbors across the pond. Christina Skjolberg hails from Norway, and her funky brand of rock is aware of its rich heritage. Skjolberg has titled her debut release Come and Get It – an assertive title fitting her direct approach to the music she plays. Unfortunately, Come and Get It suffers from too frequently applying a cookie-cutter approach. It may be a fantastic cookie cutter that Skjolberg chooses to utilize, but by the end of Come and Get It’s 40 minutes and 11 tracks you might find yourself wanting a little less cliché and a little more Skjolberg.

Christina Skjolberg sports a Jimi Hendrix tattoo on her shoulder, and this is very clearly an important element behind the guitar licks on Come and Get It. Be prepared for the Norwegian guitar smith to feature track after track of riff-oriented jams. The slower-paced “Moving On” stands out against the album’s norm of upbeat, funky material for its melancholic, soulful approach. Beyond that, Come and Get It consists of good, optimistic tracks that follow the path carved out by the record’s opener and title track: the formula generally uses Skjolberg’s upper vocal register to yelp out couplets against a backdrop of steady, simple rhythm and Skjolberg’s tight playing. On paper, this might seem great, but coming off of the record this can feel a bit tired after a while. The lyricism on Come and Get It don’t doesn’t do much to help its case either, with lines like “I’ve been playing guitar since I was a little girl/ Blues and rock and roll has always been my world.”

Christina_Skjolberg-01Cohesively, Come and Get It feels expected in some places, cliché in many places, and perhaps even a little camp at times, but the basic workings of a good blues album are all still present even if Skjolberg’s style feels inflexible. Come and Get It is certainly not a bad listen, and while it’s definitely worth the forty minutes it takes to work through it, whether or not this record is worth multiple spins is up to you.

 

Reprinted in part from Blues Rock Review.