I’ve started to fall into a pattern when writing music reviews. I’ll listen to an album all the way through, jotting the odd note as the disc plays. Then I will listen to it again while taking proper notes. In my opinion it’s worked pretty well thus far. However, when I picked up a copy of Stone Iris I listened to it through once and forgot to pause to take notes. Then I listened to it again all the way through and, when it was over, I still didn’t have any notes to show for it. I was lost in the smooth sweet sound of the music and had forgotten to write down my thoughts.
As you might imagine, I’m finding myself enjoying Illuminations, the latest EP from Stone Iris. And it’s no surprise this album is good, it’s certainly not their first — it is their seventh in the past four years. It’s not hard to see the group of seven isn’t shy about laying down tracks. What may be harder is to define their music.
At times Illuminations has a smooth, raggae sound. Then, suddenly, we’re into some flowing rock-n-roll. Then, without warning we’re hip deep in a rap verse and, before you know it, we are back to a raggae & blues sound. What’s remarkable about this is the group does it seamlessly. The pattern of the music is laid down in such a way the group is able to change gears without missing a beat.
If I had to describe Stone Iris’s music in one word it would probably be “uplifting”. Not in the spiritual sense so much as in the physical sense. I find it difficult to listen to this EP without getting up to dance. The music practically demands we get up on our feet and move as the waves of the songs crash around us. The style is thick and sweet, like syrup. It flows uninterrupted from the beginning of this album straight to the end.
The group has a beautiful way of presenting a lot of styles and variety in a casual manner. They are perfectly in sync and, with a brief five tracks, they leave us wanting more. I definitely recommend giving this album a try, especially their tracks “Wicked Start” and “Hide and Seek”. Both show off this group’s variety while featuring intriguing lyrics.
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