Artist: Icon For Hire
Album: Icon For Hire
Decatur’s Icon For Hire has been making waves since they released their debut, self-titled EP in 2008 and the follow-up to that “The Grey” in 2009. It wasn’t until later in 2011, though, that they exploded onto the scene with their debut full-length album, “Scripted”. The album contained such anthemic tracks as “Make A Move”, “Get Well” and “Off With Her Head”. Now the band is gearing up to release the follow-up to that album and it comes with a price, of sorts. Whereas you get a hard rock feel on “Scripted”, this self-titled album is a bit more geared toward the pop genre. Does that make it bad? No, quite the opposite. No band likes to make the same album twice and IFH is no exception that. With the release of the debut single to the album, “Cynics and Critics”, we immediately felt something different from the band. If you couldn’t place your finger on it, throughout the album it will become more apparent that this band likes to experiment. You get anything from Ariel singing/rapping to haunting choruses/hooks to everything in between. This album is, arguably, their best work to date and really defines their sound. “Scripted” was one of my favorite album of 2011, but IFH is a top contender for this year’s AOTY due to the experimental elements in the album. Some of these songs could easily be played in clubs, at parties or anything of the like.
Lyrical content: As far as lyrical content goes, this album is an open book emotionally. The album covers anything from fakes, to heartache to just being yourself and everything in between. In many ways, it is exactly the type of record that IFH has been known to produce. Favorite tracks include: “Cynics & Critics”, “Sugar and Spice”, “Sorry About Your Parents”, “Pop Culture” and “Counting Hearts”. These songs are the high point of an album that never stops delivering!
Instrumentals: This album is a lot more pop/rock influenced than the previous album. The band experiments quite a bit with different electronics, different guitar sounds, different everything. This album re-invents their sound and their image, while keeping that originality that we’ve come to know and love from them. You just have to listen to the album to find all of th experimentation and find what you like/dislike about it. To me, it’s diverse, it’s original and it’s definitely something that they can be proud of!
Overall, the album is everything I had hoped for. No band likes to make the same album twice and Icon are no exception to this. They did all they could to stray out of their comfort zones and really make something that would surprise, yet entrance fans at the same time. If you have been following the band, you will definitely notice a difference right away. Every individual part of the band has been enhanced to truly capture the essence of what this band is. Don’t just take my word for it, though. This album came out on October 15th, which happens to be my birthday and I am incredibly proud to say that I own a copy of it! I hope you will take the time to listen to “Icon For Hire” and appreciate the level of maturity that they have accomplished through their musicianship! Pick it up at any of your favorite retailers today or through Tooth and Nail’s webstore! Tell em New Transcendence sent you!