i to skyjj72 | format: audio cd
The title I to Sky
may be clumsy, but everything else is glorious. Dublin three-piece JJ72's second album fulfils all the promise of their eponymous 2000 debut
, and much more besides. Overwrought, baroque and fantastically ambitious, I to Sky
is an album to cherish. JJ72 have never exactly been disciples of the less-is-more school of musical composition, and here soaring tracks such as the opulent single "Formulae" or the flamboyant "Always & Forever" are exhilaratingly lavish.
The band's unique selling point is the invention with which they harness Mark Greaney's curious, semi-operatic vocal to febrile musical soundscapes: the giddy "I Saw a Prayer" is as preposterous and beguiling as Queen shorn of all bombast. Elsewhere, "Sinking"'s subterranean bass and glacial air evokes the desolate glory of Joy Division, while "Glimmer" reminds us that Muse don't exercise a monopoly on exciting, erudite pomp-pop. Well worth the wait, I to Sky is the album that should shift JJ72 from a marginal, intriguing presence in rock to genuine major contenders. --Ian Gittins