April 20, 2009 12:00 PM

Fortress ’round My Heart |

CRITIC’S CHOICE

INDIE ROCK

On one of the rambunctious highlights of this disc, Norwegian newcomer Ida Maria sings about being “Queen of the World.” Certainly, having just released the year’s most exciting debut, she deserves to have some serious swagger. One of the baddest rock chicks to come around in a long time, Maria is a quirky cross between Courtney Love, Karen O and Avril Lavigne, with a touch of fellow Nordic Björk. She brings a grungy rawness and punk-pop hookiness to tracks like the killer single “I Like You So Much Better When You’re Naked,” while revealing her soft side on ballads like the wistful closer, “In the End.”

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