|Reviews & Recommendations
(Reagan Jones, Matt Morris)
IRIS: 90s synthpop band
from Austin, TX, formed in 1993 under the name Forgiving Iris. Their first hit
song 'Annie, Would I Lie To You' appeared on the Electronic Fields
compilation in 1996. The band shortens its name to Iris and releases its debut
album 'Disconnect' in 1999.
Reagan Jones (vocals, keyboards)
Matt Morris (keyboards, programming). 1993-1999
Andrew Sega (keyboards, programming). 2002 - to date
¼ 1999: Disconnect
Musicfolio picks: Annie, Would I Lie To You, Twilight, Lose In Wanting.
"Iris create soothing, uplifting, classic synthpop reminiscent of the eighties' glorious heydays, updated enough to be absolutely valid in the 90's. Iris elevates 90's synthpop to the mythic lands previously only occupied by the music we recall from our high school reveries. (...) Despite not having much variety, there are some standout tracks. The chorus on Danger is The Shame makes it one of my favorite songs on the album. Emotive vocals by Reagan Jones soar along with the synth pads over percolating rhythms. Twilight feels slightly harder than the rest of the album, but not by much. Definitely closer to the continent's typical mix of synthpop and electro by Beborn Beton and DeVision. Annie, Would I Lie To You starts out with this amazingly catchy sequence. You've probably heard something similar before, but it really works here, and the pleading in the lyrics really hit home. If I ever meet Annie, I'm totally going to explain everything to her. And that, in essence, explains why this album is so good. It really connects. Disconnect is an unfettered discussion between the Muse and the audience, and you can hear her singing to you. About love."
-- Austin Govella, legendsmagazine.net
¼ 2003: Awakening
Tracklisting: 01. Whatever 02. When I'm not around 03. Sentimental Scar 04. Unknown 05. Sorrow Expert 06. You're the Answer 07. In spite 08. Vacant 09. Wait Move On 10. Island
"Unknown, the first single from the album is excellent, memorable, and deserves play. Sorrow Expert perhaps might be one of the best goth/techno-pop songs written since Depeche Mode's surprise American hit, Policy of Truth. I hope it becomes the second single. Vacant, a slower, yet catchy song, is also great and has a retro feeling to it without ever seeming dated. A remake of Seven Red Seven's You're the Answer is done well, definitely kicked up a few notches, yet the remake doesn't stray too far from the original 1991 song. The other songs on the album, unfortunately, seem more-or-less forgettable...
In Spite sounds like a Camouflage rip-off from thier Meanwhile or Methods of Silence albums. Wait Move On has a good beat and synth-bass to it - not much more despite a progressive house tripelet run during the bridge of the song."
-- fan from San Jose, CA - amazon customer review, 2/03
½ 2005: Wrath
Tracklisting: 01. Lands of Fire 02. Appetite 03. Imposter 04. No One Else To Lose 05. Guide On Raging Stars 06. 68 07. It Generates 08. Hell's Coming With Me 09. Intercede Light 10. You're The Delivered One
"This album isnt as dancable as the previous but the songwriting is just as strong ever. The lyrics have a maturity to them lacking in most others of the type, theres no whining and crying for lost loves here. (...) Theres some guitar in this album that perhaps gives it more expression than it could have achieved otherwise, being perfectly mixed into the electronics. There really isnt a weak spot to be found here, its just great tracks all the way through and not just at the start. If i have a negative to add its that its not a club album as it stands but i expect that to change somewhat when singles start appearing with remixes. Theres alot of potential here for filling dancefloors with maybe half the tracks by simply speeding them up and adding the typical beats, but thats another story for another day. This ones about listening to and absorbing in bliss. Iris have always known how to use music to pull at the heartstrings and they prove this with this album moreso than ever before before. "
-- Shrike, remixwars.com
½ 2010: BlackLight
Tracklisting: 1. Closer To Real 2. xWires 3. Panic Rev 4. The Marianas Depths 5. Disintegrate 6. Fighter 7. Red Right Return 8. Prophetic 9. Cruel Silence
"... just nine tracks and around 40 minutes, but whats here is extremely solid. Its a well produced, beautifully mixed album with some lovely synthpop songs very much in the best Iris tradition. Directionally, its wonderful that the US duo have headed down this comfortable, if not all that challenging path. If there is fault to be found with the album its in the lack of urgency to the collection. Theres an almost laid-back lackadaisical quality to the bulk of songs on 'Blacklight' that makes one a little sleepy instead of getting all het up or wanting to dance. That said, Reagan Jones and Andrew Sega are rock-solid electronic song writers and that experience shows in spades here. Xwires thuds along with a passion and pulsating rhythm thats irresistible. Right Red Return is a bass-heavy pop confection flicked with tinges of darkness. Panic Rev is a skittish, sparkly pop treat thats a highlight of the album. And lead single Closer to Real is an awesome, old school synth pop anthem with balls. Theres a lovely, dark sheen that coats the album, front to back and a nice retro feel but one that manages to never feels dated. Its not all magic, and the band needs to guard against a samey-same feeling that runs through far too many of their songs but taken as a whole, this a fun, well constructed album that takes the band in a very encouraging direction and earns a solid Softsynth endorsement. We hope its not another five years before we get another taste "
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