Sunday, August 20, 2006

Ivy York -- Ivy York

by Frank Gualtier -- 08/20/06, 08/27/06, 08/14/06

Ivy YorkBuy the CD

Soften the lights, turn up the volume, and put away that book.

Ivy York's highly anticipated self titled debut album is finally here and tapping at your window. It wants in and it wants to play.

If you put on some cocoa I'll tell you what to expect when you peel off the wrapper and open it up.

Within this LP lies a collection of satin lace emotive songs with a retro vibe sandwiched between a dreamy breathing intro that glides into your chest and snuggles like a comforter around your heart and an unlisted and equally dreamy outro on keys that gently weans you off the narcotically euphoric beauty of all you've just experienced. Long enough at least to catch a breath before you find yourself hopelessly in love and diving back in again and again...

At the risk of being arrested by the 'redundant word usage police' I think the best single word descriptor for both Ivy's voice and the music she writes is 'dreamy'. It works both as a literal and for it's retro usage connotations. Her pipes are harmonically rich with a smokiness that colors the high end in a way that verges on bubbly. Through this amazing instrument she channels the contents of her open heart and a worlds worth of identifiable emotion.

Depending on who you're with (or not with) you'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll find visions of memories not yet made and those now distant. If you don't like music in your head or in your heart you are in eminent danger of feeling something -- apply your safety gear now and step back behind the blue line.

The primary sound is that of a four piece band with piano -- retro "oohs" and "ahs" included. And while the music can really kick a beat at times it's never harsh. Two things I especially like are the extra emphasis on acoustic guitar relative to what I've heard on previous Ivy York demos and the use of more synth in a smartly musical manner which yields just a hint of a vibe at times. At other times it suspends a tension that drives the music deep inside -- it's almost as if it's issuing from you rather than to you.

As is always the case with Ivy York the production is sublime and exhibits skill in console continuity mastering that in and of itself is a work of art.

This album is breathtaking start to finish -- an emotive masterpiece of retro rock made fresh by the truly unique sound of Ivy York. Two thumbs up to a work that far exceeded my high expectations.

For more on Ivy York see my May 8, 2006 review.

The Ivy York CD can currently be purchased via her myspace profile -- click the image below.

And is now available at CD Baby -- see links below.

Links for Ivy York:

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