Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Joy Ike - Rumors
Joy Ike - Rumors
2010, Joy Ike
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania's Joy Ike has had a sun kissed couple of years. Her debut album, Good Morning started to earn Ike national recognition with a rash of positive reviews. The folks in Pittsburgh know well how talented Ike is, as she's been voted Best Solo Artist by Pittsburgh City paper two years running. Ike's second album, Rumors, features the sort of lush songwriting she has become known for, along with mature, honest and deep emotional perspectives woven into lyrics that read like pure poetry. Love, life and spirituality dot Ike's songs like dapples of sunlight, and stylistically she plays in the same concentric circles as artists such as Norah Jones, Corinne Bailey Rae, India Arie and Laura Nyro.
Rumors opens on a pop ballad note with "Sweeter", a song more about the anticipation of love than the real thing. Ike's tremendously rich voice raps around the melody like a second skin for a truly pleasurable listening experience. "Nomad" is about striking out on your own path. Full of conviction and belief, it's a powerful message wrapped up in a lush folk/pop arrangement with hints of R&B woven in. "Like A Picture" is a song of faith that references God and His know ability, particularly through art. It's a moving personal dialogue that's more musical philosophy than evangelism. On "Plans", Ike exposes an unrequited or lost love, speaking to the object of her affection and letting him know the door is still open. It's the sort of blatantly honest songwriting that Ike has a knack for and features Ike at her vocal best.
"Untitled" is a beauty. You'll do yourself a favor by listening to it yourself. It's one of those rare numbers where attempts to describe the song simply can't do it justice. "Give Me Truth" is a metaphysical pursuit of understanding; a powerful tune that ranges as much musically as the soul may strive to find meaning. "Eat It All Up" is one of the more obtuse lyrical moments on the album; one of those songs where each listener will have to decide for themselves what it means. Ike invests a lot of energy in this song, but its energy of a subtle kind that taps you on the shoulder when you're not looking rather than grabbing you outright, and the arrangement and Ike's voice are a perfect blend. "Rumors" is a beautiful creation about the hard work it takes to make a relationship work. It's more of a running monologue that tells a story of how a marriage fell apart and how it was put back together. Sung a bit like a prayer, "Rumors" will inspire. Ike closes with "Power", a contemplative exploration of wrong but well-intended choices. It's not so much a song of regret as of recognition; a place to start anew and move on.
Joy Ike is an Artist. Her blend of songwriting savvy, melodic touch and lyrical deftness are striking, but it's her voice that will wrap you up and drag you along for the ride. Rumors is a distinct step forward for Ike, showing a broadening maturity in perspective in sound without sacrificing a bit of the energy or pizzazz that made her debut album such a charm. Put Joy Ike on your wish list of new albums for 2010. Rumors is one not to be missed.
Rating: 4.5 Stars (Out of 5)
Learn more about Joy Ike at http://www.joyike.com/ or www.myspace.com/joyike. Rumors is available in digital formats from Rumors and iTunes. If you'd like to have Rumors on CD you can order directly from Ike's website.