Music You Don't Know You Like Yet
2013-03-20There is plenty to rejoice about Joy Ike's new album. Completely funded by a Kickstarter campaign, her latest album, All or Nothing, finds the Pittsburgh-based artist in top form. Gentle, but not weak; sweet, but not saccharine, All or Nothing illustrates Joy Ike's strength as a storytelling and a musician. From the celebration of innocence of "The Fall Song," to the contemplation of mortality of "Don't Ever Die," Ike explores all things personal and relational with ease and subtly, while the music stylistically changing to suit each song. Ike avoids the trap of blanketing songs with instruments; instead, strings, piano, guitar, and more are layered elegantly throughout the album, contributing to a cohesion of music and message. The varied instrumentation gives every song a distinct flavor, with percussion in particular shaping each track with precision, performed by Ike herself (as well as piano, ukulele, and much more.) Ike writes that she wants her songs "to be a conversation...a long one. A real one." With work as affecting as All or Nothing, it appears Ike can take pride in her success. - Jacqueline Ristola
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