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[LICD Review] Knoxville News Sentinal
February 12, 1998, 11:00 pm

Source: Knoxville News Sentinal

Chuck Campbell. Knoxville News Sentinal. February 13, 1998

James Iha clears up any doubt he has little input on the Smashing Pumpkins with his solo debut, "Let It Come Down." Long accepted as a Billy Corgan-driven vehicle, the Pumpkins couldn't sound more different than Iha on his own.

Rather than echo the swarming distortion of his band, Iha plugs in to a mellow vibe of '70s-sounding love songs.

It's hard to imagine fans of the Pumpkins will appreciate the laid-back strains of "Let It Come Down," and it's equally hard to imagine Iha will win over non-Pumpkin fans with his overdose of lame sap.

The album has naive magnetism as Iha, a guitarist by trade, struggles with his weak voice to articulate basic feelings of love with such lines as "The sound of love is oceans far away" (on "Sounds of Love") and "Hallelujah, I'm in love with a girl from the country/She's got no money, just a smile."

In other words, he's Celine Dion without the glamour.

Listeners are likely to get woozy from all the sugar, however, and singing doesn't come easily for Iha - even when gets harmonizing support from fellow Smashing Pumpkin D'Arcy Wretzky (on "One and Two") and Nina Gordan of Veruca Salt (on "Beauty")

Meanwhile, the wimpy music straggles along, acoustic-dominated arrangements with hits of electricity and occasional extraneous instrument to prod things along.

There's a difference between understated and undercooked. And "Let It Come Down" definitely isn't done.

Rating: 2 (out of 5)

Written by Chuck Campbell

Credit: Chuck Campbell