Let It Come Down

CD Cover James Iha

Review by Darren Gawle

The packaging is a sunny lemon yellow. The lettering on the cover looks like it's from a Carpenters album twenty-five years ago. The photo shows James in a contemplative mood on a sunny autumn afternoon. So no, you're not likely to hear another emotional strip-mining complete with the voices in Billy Corgan's head trying to convince him that the time of purification is at hand.

No, indeed. Let It Come Down is quite the nicest album to put on the next time your mother invites the minister around for tea. It's a wonderful sunshiney exercise in acoustic guitars and bucolic vibes, man, and conclusive proof that just because something's self-indulgent, it doesn't have to be bad.

Yes, self-indulgent - but can you really blame our James? If I had to put guitar solos to Billy Corgan's paranoia night after night, I'd end up writing an album like Let It Come Down, too. Unfortunately, the album ends up owing most of its effect to what it's an antidote to, rather than being a product of James Iha in its own right.

Still, James does prove capable of writing some shimmering excursions to the land of Bread, America and Crosby, Stills & Nash. "Be Strong Now," "Beauty" and "Country Girl" all convey that dewey Marin County folk-rock which, under the best circumstances, can still make a guy wear flowers in his hair and flash peace signs at every blonde girl he sees.

Let It Come Down is not destined to be a classic album, but if you put it on your stereo in the next few years, you'll be glad to still have it around.

First published in Drop-D Magazine on June 16, 1998

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