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Iris - Blacklight
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Posted: Oct 3 2010, 02:54 PM

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Get "Blacklight" by Iris if you like synthpop. Do it today.

On first listen, the album kind of slips on by, you get a little hook here and there, and overall you're just enjoying the composition. Tracks that feel pretty solid, but don't seem to give everything they have to offer on the first listen. That tends to give good music longevity, a kind of staying power. But to really get you hooked you need a superhit in there.

And "Blacklight" offers it as the very last track of the album, blasting you away and transcending the entire experience to a new level. Some will undoubtedly consider "Cruel Silence" a bit of a clishe, but for me this is the "When I'm Not Around" of this album. The "Appetite" of this album. When the hook kicks in, you get swept away and you leave the album thinking, where am I and what just happened? And why do I feel so uplifted, empowered and touched?

And then you have to listen to it all over again. And that's when you start grasping the intricate details, the music resonates with you. I just love how Andrew Sega's touch for hauntingly beautiful ambience and strong beatwork mix with Jones' songwriting.

From the very first track you can definitely hear how Iris is continuously improving on their formula, staying true to the sound they crafted first on "Awakening". The guitars of "Wrath" are still present throughout the album, lending a rock influence to the mix which is particularly evident on "xWires" that almost enters the territory of alternative metal.

Overall the album seems to pick up pace and tightness on the second half, starting with "Disintegrate". While the lyrics of "Fighter" are pretty abstract, they give the listener space to attach their own meanings to the track, which definitely grows on you. "Red Right Return" is an upbeat number that almost takes me to that place where "Point of Departure" (golden oldie from Sega's demoscene days) sends me, but falls just short of it. A strong track all the same.

"Prophetic" is something to look out for when you want to hear an example of what I mean when I describe the sound of Iris as haunting. Especially the beginning of the track really sets the mood, and you instantly appreciate the attention to detail in the music. Flawlessly executed, an evolving track that grabs you.

And so, you become a fighter.

"Unrequited love. It's fantastic, because it never has to change, it never has to grow up and it never has to die!"

- saboteur
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