Album Review: Stone Iris – Illuminations EP

May 29, 2012
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Stone Iris - IlluminationsTitle: Illuminations
Artist: Stone Iris
Label: Self-released
Released: 15 May 2012
In One Word: Transcendent

It might not be clear upon first listen, but Stone Iris’ new EP, Illumination, is actually an incredibly important record. In fact, it may prove to be the single most influential hallmark of cruise ship-rock since The Sway Waves released their seminal 1987 masterwork, Tequila Toonz – big words, I know. History will prove me right.

Illumination soothes an itch I’m sure most of us didn’t even know we had: a desperate yearning for a fusion blend of Stadium Arcadium-era Red Hot Chili Peppers and the delicate majesty of Collective Soul in their prime, all with the added spice of a truly delightful fake patois, courtesy of vocalist El Niven. He has a way of selling lines like “My lady she does love me/Like Marley and his dreads” and “She was lookin’ like a shorty that I wanted to know/She was dressed to death from head to toe” that elevates them past their seeming nonsensicality and into a truly rarefied air of emotional depth and clarity. Who can say how this kind of transcendence is achieved; some men are just wizards, I guess.

If you drink cocktails out of actual cocktail glasses, then chances are you will find Illuminations to be the perfect soundtrack for those afternoons by your pool this summer. And in the words of Stone Iris themselves: “When I get to the deep end, I know my kingdom come.”

© Justin Santelli, Music Vice

Internet: Stone Iris

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J. Francis

J. Francis is a freelance music critic that sprouted like an unsightly growth from the suburbs of the Greater Toronto Area and eventually ended up in Kingston, Ontario. He is a man of deliriously firm, contradictory convictions, with a life-long dream of dismantling high-art/low-art hierarchies. He loves pop music with a passion that many find unsettling and is often mistaken as being somehow ironic or insincere (nothing could be further from the truth). His favourite album is Meat Loaf's Bat Out Of Hell. He knows that you think that's ridiculous. Regardless, he hopes you have a good day.

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