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[LICD Review] Vox Magazine
February 28, 1998, 11:00 pm

Source: VOX Magazine

Mark Andrew Hamilton. Vox Magazine. March 1998. [No Day]

After standing in the shadow of AlternaRock's superzero for close to a decade, it was inevitable that James Iha would eventually tire of having his material shunted off to b-sideville. And so comes Let It Come Down, Iha's debut solo LP. On first listen, the biggest surprise is the overall sound of the record -- acoustic folk songs embedded over pretty string and horn arrangements -- and the complete lack of anything resembling what Iha's "other" project has been pumping out steady through the '90s. Let It Come Down wouldn't feel out of place on '70s AM radio.

First track and single "Be Strong Now" lays the blueprint for the album, opening with strummed acoustic guitar, gentle drumbeats and slide guitar. All but one of the following 10 songs all conform along the same musical lines, infused with an occasional dose of country (most notable on "Country Girl" and "Beauty", a duet with Nina Gordon of Veruca Salt) which does cause an occasional problem of distinguishing between tracks. The true standout is the daffy singalong "Jealousy", featuring harmonies that stick to your brain like peanut butter over a go-go beat and hammond organ.

The melodies, vocals and instrumentation on Let It Come Down are heavenly, but the record's true downfall are Iha's lyrics which haven't developed beyond the basic love song fare. Singing about nightengales, falling stars, and love, love, love, one wishes that Iha's vocals were buried further down within the mix instead of laying right on the top (and rhyming "two" with... well... "two" on "One And Two" doesn't particularly help).

If nothing else, Let It Come Down makes you appreciate Billy Corgan so much more.

Credit: Mark Andrew Hamilton