Look to the Sky

Look to the Sky

by James Iha
     
 

James Iha's 2012 album Look to the Sky is the former Smashing Pumpkins guitarist's long-awaited follow-up to his 1998 debut, Let It Come Down. On his previous effort, Iha revealed a passion for '60s-influenced melodic folk and '70s-sounding soft rock. While those aural touchstones are still the core of Iha's solo work, here he delves into some lightSee more details below

Overview

James Iha's 2012 album Look to the Sky is the former Smashing Pumpkins guitarist's long-awaited follow-up to his 1998 debut, Let It Come Down. On his previous effort, Iha revealed a passion for '60s-influenced melodic folk and '70s-sounding soft rock. While those aural touchstones are still the core of Iha's solo work, here he delves into some light electronic flourishes that add a kind of low-key take on '80s new wave and goth. In that sense, Look to the Sky has a bit more in common with his work with the Pumpkins, and feels like he is finally owning his legacy as a '90s alt-rock pioneer. Iha himself has long championed his idols, even working with his soft rock forebears America on their 2007 comeback album, Here & Now. On Look to the Sky, Iha's songwriting celebrates an earnest, heart-on-his-sleeve quality, which is bolstered through appearances by other, similarly inclined artists, as musicians like Tinted Windows bandmate Adam Schlesinger, Television guitarist Tom Verlaine, and the Cardigans' Nina Persson add their talents to the album's late-afternoon, introspective vibe. To these ends, tracks like the plaintive "To Who Knows Where" and buoyantly melancholy "Summer Days" mix sparkling electric guitar riffs with soft-focus synth lines that bring to mind Wish-era Cure. Elsewhere, Iha keeps things melodic and personal, with tracks like the leadoff "Make Believe" and the languidly cinematic "A String of Words" drawing upon the more dreamy side of the Velvet Underground. With Iha's sweet and gentle vocal style set against tiny little bells, arpeggiated guitar, and percolating synthesizer, many of the songs here sound something like murmured lullabies sung in wistful recollection of long-lost teenage loves. Ultimately, if Let It Come Down was Iha's sun-dappled West Coast folk-rock break from the creative turmoil and personal squabbles of the Pumpkins, then Look to the Sky is his more austere, if no less captivating, look back from the sun and toward the dark moon of his alt-rock '90s past.

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Product Details

Release Date:
09/18/2012
Label:
The End Records
UPC:
0654436028826
catalogNumber:
2882
Rank:
56825

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

James Iha   Primary Artist,Synthesizer,Bass,Guitar,Piano,Glockenspiel,Vocals
Tom Verlaine   Guitar
Mike Garson   Piano
Neal Casal   Vocals
Alexis Fleisig   Drums
Julia Kent   Cello
Nathan Larson   Synthesizer,Bass,Guitar
Kevin March   Drums
Adam Schlesinger   Bass
Jon Graboff   Pedal Steel Guitar
Josh Lattanzi   Guitar
Jon Natchez   Horn,Woodwind
Geoff Sanoff   Bass
Andreas Mattsson   Strings,Vocals
Nina Persson   Vocals
Tim Byrnes   Trumpet
Niclas Frisk   Guitar
Sara Quin   Vocals
Kelly Pratt   Horn,Woodwind
Karen O   Vocals
Maxim Moston   Violin
Danielle Farina   Violin
Arjun Agerwala   Vocals
Nick Zinner   Guitar
Pete Remm   Piano

Technical Credits

James Iha   Composer,Producer
Nathan Larson   Composer,Producer,Horn Arrangements,String Arrangements
Leanne Shapton   Illustrations
Geoff Sanoff   Producer
Andreas Mattsson   Composer
Vanessa Quinones   Composer
Niclas Frisk   Composer
Rudyard Lee Cullers   Producer
Doug Lefrak   Management
Joe LaPorta   Mastering
Arjun Agerwala   Producer
Triboro   Art Direction
Adam Tilzer   Producer
Michael Nesci   Producer
Mitch Okmin   Booking

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