Warriors get your gear on

25 June, 2010 (12:00) | Reviews

I’ve been meaning to post a review of Joy Ike‘s new Album, Rumors, but I’m just getting around to it now.  If you’re already a fan, this album reminds you why.  If you’re not a fan yet, here’s a review through bias eyes and an unprofessional (and unapproved) opinion.

In retrospect, Joy’s first album, Good Morning, was coming from someone who loved to play music and write songs and was entertaining the idea of people actually paying to listen to it.  It was…but, it also worked.  Joy’s sound was original, familiar, raw, and somehow catchy all at the same time.  I was hooked right away, and I’ll be the first to admit her style is certainly a departure from my normal listening.  She had heart, believed in her music, and it showed.  Something about someone doing something they are passionate about is so engaging.

With Rumors, I was expecting more of the popular sound that I was used to from Joy.  What I got, was something a lot more serious and a lot more -real-.  That isn’t to mean that the previous songs were superficial at all, but I think they succeed at being the catchy, groovy songs they were meant to be.  The songs, and more specifically, the lyrics, on Rumors, are not as secular or topical as her first album.  Where we talked about children growing up too fast (“Hey, Where are the Kids?”), we’re now honestly talking about faith and personal struggle (“Untitled)”.  Where we were talking about getting lost in the city (“City Lights”), we’re now confronting the earth’s mystery and that man alone doesn’t have the answers (“Power”).

The result is a more potent message and it’s delivered with more powerful melody.  She stays true to her stripped down mixing, going with hand drums and a piano and the occasional strings, so we still have the same Joy Ike sound, but she’s pulling us closer by revealing, what I assume to be, herself, and her own thoughts.  An undeniable Christian philosophy is threaded through her lyrics, which wasn’t present in Good Morning. In tracks like “Power” and “Rumors” (not to mention the “Amen” at the end!!), we hear a progression that is something similar to a hymnal.  It’s moving.  It’s great.

To put it simply, I think Joy’s matured, as well as her music.  She’s giving us quality tracks, original and inspiring lyrics, and an honest message that’s not somber, but engaging.  If I had to compare her to someone more mainstream, I’d say Sarah McLachlan, which is appropriate seeing that Joy has been selected to join her in the Lilith Fair line up for Philadelphia on July 28th.  That’s going to be a big show for her, and I’m positive that we’ll hear a lot more of her, sooner than you think.  Better get your gear on while you can.


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