# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

James Iha - Look to the Sky

  by Lisa Torem

published: 30 / 10 / 2012

James Iha - Look to the Sky
Label: The End
Format: CD


Imaginative and delicately melodic second solo album from ex-Smashing guitarist, James Iha

In the late 1980s, James Iha met Smashing Pumpkins singer/guitarist, Billy Corgan, with whom he played gigs using a drum machine before adding D’Arcy Wretzsky and Jimmy Chamberlin, the remaining members of the Chicago-based Smashing Pumpkins. Iha’s gentle voice and co-writes ‘Soma’, ‘Mayonaise’, and ‘Spaceboy’ assisted greatly in their phenomenal, then groundbreaking sound. In 1995 the recording 'Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness' included another Iha hit, ‘Take Me Down’. Three years later in 1998 he completed his debut, 'Let It Come Down', and in 2009 he formed a new band with Taylor Hansen and Cheap Trick drummer Bun E. Carlos whose self-titled debut album came out later that year. To lend a hand on his second solo album, 'Look to The Sky', are Tom Verlaine, Nina Persson from the Cardigans and former David Bowie keyboardist Mike Garson. The album is packed with Iha’s melodic imaginings. The first song, ‘Make Believe,’ hints at the fairy tale flavour of the rest. ‘To Who Knows Where’ moves along at a glorious clip. Iha’s dreamy voice recalls a “golden sound,” until he further reveals: “in a flash, nothing lasts,” after which a truly hypnotic progression confirms his instrumental observations. “You drift your way into the dark,” he sings, towards the end, in this terrific and compact song. Flanked by a prisitine riff, ‘Gemini’ creates another universe of wonder. “There’s no reason/There’s no why/Just this moment/Just this instant.” Soft, gentle harmonies and an upbeat pulse meld to make another tender track. Quite reminiscent of Ian Hunter is ‘Speed of Love.’ “Travelling at the speed of love/Sooner or later I’ll be crashing.” Windswept guitar solos spice up the theme. Then there is the refreshing pop anthem, ‘Till Next Tuesday’, “Don’t wake me up till next Tuesday/Close the door till it’s newsday…” A sort of escaped 1960s sentiment abounds. The delicious laziness of ‘Summer Days’ with its lyric “I need a day with you/Running through the woods…” precedes the shivering keyboards and cantankerous guitar of ‘Appetite’. The acoustic driven marvel, ‘Dream Tonight,’ is followed by another lilting pop track, ‘New Year’s Day,’ made even brighter by whimsy: “We’re tumbling through a fairground ride.” The most alluring is ‘Waves,’ with its clipped phrases and mysterious edges: “Tonight I wander far from home…” ‘4th of July’ doesn’t quite live up to the American holiday’s rep, but the playful, Lennon-esque ‘Dark Star’ is a wonderful closer, awash with glimmering ambience and hushed tones. Overall, James Iha has created a lovely sophomore project, brimming with imagination and delicate touches. “Look to the Sky,” is as engaging as a summer sunset.

Track Listing:-
1 Make Believe
2 To Who Knows Where
3 Gemini
4 Speed Of Love
5 Till Next Tuesday
6 Summer Days
7 Appetite
8 Dream Tonight
9 New Years Day
10 Waves
11 A String Of Words

Band Links:-

Label Links:-

Post A Comment

your name
ie London, UK
Check box to submit

digital downloads

most viewed articles

most viewed reviews

Pennyblackmusic Regular Contributors