Look to the Sky

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Matt Collar
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 ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Matt Collar
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: 9/18/2012
  • Label: The End Records
  • UPC: 654436028826
  • Catalog Number: 2882
  • Sales rank: 68,263

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Make Believe (2:43)
  2. 2 To Who Knows Where (4:19)
  3. 3 Gemini (3:52)
  4. 4 Speed Of Love (3:18)
  5. 5 Till Next Tuesday (3:49)
  6. 6 Summer Days (3:35)
  7. 7 Appetite (4:10)
  8. 8 Dream Tonight (3:13)
  9. 9 New Year's Day (3:45)
  10. 10 Waves (3:36)
  11. 11 A String Of Words (4:19)
  12. 12 4th Of July (3:40)
  13. 13 Dark Star (4:53)
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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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