Icon For Hire "Icon For Hire"
by Kelcey Wixtrom (cmaddict.com) on 2013-10-21 14:42:44

Icon For Hire has produced a phenomenal album of intense lyrics, a variety of musical styles, and a great assortment of instruments and sounds. The lead singer, Ariel, isn’t afraid to use the full extent of her amazing vocal range. She also has the ability to soften her voice and use it to convey different meanings and colors. I was very surprised with what I found in this album. I wasn’t expecting to click with it, let alone love most of what I heard.

My favorite part of Icon For Hire is the variety of musical directions contained in each song. The album goes everywhere from dub step to rap; each musical style is blended seamlessly to the next. The album also features catchy hooks on songs like Cynics and Critics (an unusual sound), Nerves (a carnival-meets-dub step feel), Sugar & Spice (incorporates keys), and Pop Culture (dance themes).

A powerful vocalist, interesting, deep lyrics and word pictures, and experimental sounds make this an unexpected but incredible album. Every time I listen to it, I understand something I didn’t before, and I am still in love with the musical variety. A couple of the quieter songs didn’t have quite the resonant vocal quality I was hoping for, but the other power houses definitely make up for this. This album is dark. For this most part, they captured the emotion of being in this place very well, but toward the end of the album, I felt myself wanting a little more hope.

Unfortunately, one thing really stood out to me, and that was the choice of words on a couple of songs. Two of the songs have the word “sucks” and the song Watch Me has a lyric that says, “You’re full of shhhhhh.” I understand that maybe this is an accurate way to describe this feeling, but a different choice of words would have made this song stronger. My brain doesn’t need the other 2 letters to finish hearing a different word! Thankfully, these instances are very quick and will likely remain unheard unless you carefully listen to each line.

These things aside, Icon For Hire is an impressive album. The songwriting style branches out from the typical verse/chorus/verse/bridge format, and the music compliments this change. Icon For Hire are trendsetters – they have included elements that I am very, very excited to see come to Christian music.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Genre: Alternative Rock
Label: Tooth and Nail Records
Release Date: October 15, 2013
Buy it: Amazon - iTunes

1. Cynics & Critics 3:23
2. Nerves 3:15
3. Sugar and Spice 4:02
4. Hope of Morning 3:49
5. Sorry About Your Parents 3:17
6. Pop Culture 3:23
7. Watch Me 3:34
8. Slow Down 3:46
9. Rock and Roll Thugs 3:37
10. Think I'm Sick 2:54
11. Fix Me 3:47
12. Counting on Hearts 4:00

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