In fact it is difficult for everyone to expect of him a debut as soloist like that that the chinese-american musician presents us peeping out from the cover of "Let it come down" with a meditating and vaguely sad look; we say difficult because it would have been right to think that the good James would have not left that kind of sound with a nervous psychedelic and sharp guitar which characterizes the band of Billy Corgan.
By doing so, perhaps, every thing would have lost its meaning; in fact which was the need of a work that imitated the "Pumpkins’s style" not signed by the whole band but only by one of its members?
With an ineffability typical of the East that we love to ascribe to him (gratuitously), Iha doesn’t insert anything reminding, even though slightly, the distorted and neurotic universe of the band he belongs to; instead he shows us handful of yearning songs with charm and melancholy that confuse us. Leaving apart each deduction about the meaning of all this, that is to say the attempt to keep the distance from Corgan’s encumbering ego, we have only to clap.
The world in which we let us down by listening to "Let it come down", is that touching and involving of a certain category of mostly british songwriters able to touch with few and simple musical notes the most sensitive chords of the soul: without disturbing the baronets of Liverpool, we can mention Prefab Sprout, Deacon Blue, Aztec Camera and so on. We add to this a good deal of country tradition, typically american, and it’s done; eleven little jewels that don’t want to be up to date or in the van of the sound, but that (perhaps because of this?) reach the heart of people who listen to them and carry them to a world where humankind follows instinct and nature and where all what surrounds us is simple, immediate and it is easy to be part of it, even only through a song.
In the texts there is no ambiguity or eccentricity (in fact the titles of the songs could be derived from an album by Céline Dion); beauty, love, sun, nature are the recurrent themes and if this is surprising, thinking about certain lyrics of the Pumpkins, at the same time it exhorts us to give place to the good side of our soul and to let down in a universe that the rural James offers us; it is an unreal universe but we like to believe that it exists.
It is not easy to point out a single piece that distinguishes itself by the other in what is a unique touching flow of pieces that are all linked. But it is undeniable that songs like "Beauty", "Silver string", "One and two" have the right cards to make shudder even who does his hair by the same coiffeur of Keith Flint, the bad front-man of Prodigy.
James Iha "Let it come down"
If James Iha, the Smashing Pumpkins pressing guitarist, has deliberately decide to leave the fans of the band of Chicago amazed, we acknowledge it.
Cesare Mortera (Trad. Annalisa)