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Thursday, 4 October 2012

Record Review - James Iha

Look To The Sky

The End CD

If asked to name a member of the Smashing Pumpkins, most would plump for Billy Corgan over the other co-founder of the band, James Iha. While it’s easy to assume that’s solely due to the limelight-grabbing antics of noted egoist Corgan, Look To The Sky offers a different explanation.

Look To The Sky is a vaguely psychedelic album that sounds like it came out in 1991. However, it’s forgettable even while you’re listening to it. Iha’s voice is featureless; the song’s melodies are neither jarringly bad, nor excitingly perky; and the lyrics could be that of a mate’s not-too-bad band. Probably the best track is ‘Speed Of Love’, which is about as good as alt-rock also-rans Blind Melon.

The relentless mediocrity is even more alarming given that Iha spent years working on it. He also ropes in a huge number of guests, including Tom Verlaine and Karen O. It seems making music this bland takes real effort.

Jeanette Leech

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