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Review: Ian McIntosh – Awakened
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Chances are you are like myself and have never heard of Ian McIntosh. I’m so thankful for this introduction! I LOVE THIS CD. Ian does an incredible job of creating a fluid, moving, CD that leaves you feeling like you might have just listened to a worship CD or some really great music or been in a daze for the last hour. Has anyone defined Ambient Rock? That’s what I’d like to call Awakened. Thick pads, piano, electric guitar, driving bass, quirky drums, some electronica, and Ian’s voice soaring above it all with a falsetto that Chris Martin would slap his Momma for. What I love is that everything feels very intentional. From the musicality of pacing the different instruments to the overall flow of the CD. It’s well thought out.
This is a CD of 11 tracks but I only really count 7 songs. Intro is…an intro, Awakened and Rejoicing are both these vibe-ish vampy tags of the songs that come before them, and Adoration is more like a CD outro. While I happen to LOVE it, Ian’s music is already pretty atmospheric and this sort of tagging might begin to bore the typical listener.
Musically, I think Ian’s voice is wildly distinctive and stellar and the instrumentation is dynamite. There are some guitar tones I’m not crazy about but again, I love how the guitar is used. (I’d LOVE to play guitar for this dude!) Personally, I love how he uses the piano too, like a guitar with riffs and hooks instead of bashing the ivories for 4 minutes straight!
[rating:4/5] GET IT!
You’ve got to grab Made to Love and Awakened! Individually fine but together rediculous! Then pick up Keep Me.
I see these really useful for video soundtracks. Maybe if your church did things with spacial elements or times of reflection or exercises of contemplation or something? Not your typical ‘congregationally friendly’ songs, especially with Ian’s range.
Initially I liked the sound of this album a lot. The sound is very atmospheric; mostly due to Ian’s breathy vocals. He also has an insanely high range which is put to great use in many of the songs. The album is very electronic and it would be interesting to hear ‘unplugged’ versions of the songs. I’m not sure it would work quite as well. The main problem I had with it after a few listens is that it is very samey throughout. I know this is a problem for a lot of singer/songwriters, but at times I honestly couldn’t tell if I was on the same song, or had moved to the next. Although the songs sound great, they don’t stand out individually.
It is a good album, but a little samey for me. Might be good in a playlist mixed with other tracks perhaps. I like what Ian has done here and will definitely be on the look-out for future projects.
Must Have Songs:
Such Beauty for me is probably the best on the album – mostly because it’s the first song I heard. Made To Love is great and let’s Ian sing in ultra-high mode. Other good songs are Always Good and Keep Me.
None. It’s not a sing-along ‘worship’ album.
Ian…wow! I picked this CD in Jan as being one of my top favorite CD’s of 2008. Honestly if you even hope to have any purpose in life you need to get this CD. Ian brings something to the table that we have not seem to much of in the world of worship. Originality. He hails out of Bethel church and gets to minister with great worship leaders like brian & jenn johnson, Jesus Culture, and Kim Walker. Ian is a keyboard player and he mixes pads, piano, synth with ambient music all the while dropping in some raunchy guitars to give us an amazing treat for our ears. I love breathy vocals with insane notes and progrock meets electronica. The worship aspect of the CD is amazing too. I can’t help but worship from the moment the first track starts
Normally I have a ton to say here. but this is it. BRILLIANT CD. REFRESHING SOUND. Thank you ian for giving us something different to listen to.
Awakened, Made to Love, Such Beauty, Everything Good. While those are the tops for me. There is not one song on here I don’t like.
Are these easy songs to do? No way. Will I be Trying any? Darn tootin! I have to try some of these. They stir my soul so much that I need to. Most on here would be great for a time of worship just by putting the CD on or using it as track music for bumpers or video.
THE JOINT AS A WHOLE GIVES
Review: Ian McIntosh – Awakened