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"Let it Come Down" is an album which generated such an apathetic and "It's OK, I guess..." response at its time of release that twelve months later it barely warranted a mention in end-of-year charts. Yet it's such a wonderfully crafted album that it's hard to imagine critics were listening to the same CD. A lifetime away from much of the Pumpkins' dark rock, Iha has made what's pretty much an alternative-country/americana album. Working with the likes of Neal Casal and Adam from Fountains of Wayne, the songs have strong melodies complimenting Iha's delicate vocals and dreamy backdrops of acoustic guitars and mainly unplugged instrumentation. The single "Be Strong Now" is a great introduction, but it just gets better and climaxes with "No-One's Going to Hurt You," the best song the Smashing Pumpkins never wrote.
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on 19 May 2015
Released in 1998 - scary! - but more to the point, what we have here is a seriously accomplished solo debut from James Iha - and thankfully, on this recording, he had full control of his own destiny - not shackled or held back by his old sparring partner from The Smashing Pumpkins days...uh! - um! - Billy Corgan.

The surprise for me is how low tempo many of the songs are - and it's the slow movers that are the real high-points. The whole set is defined by both acoustic and electric tones - sometimes delicately laced with a country tinge, then subtle string arrangements, keyboards and percussion help build up each song into ultra-mellow things of beauty. Another plus point has to be his vocal performance - a voice of fragile innocence - that will have you loving each song, right from the offset.

A nice touch was to invite another ex-Pumpkin (D'arcy) to play on the rather wonderful "One and Two" - not in her usual guise as bass player - but vocal harmonies. The music finishes on a high with my favorite track "No One's Gonna Hurt You" - a song that will melt the hardest of hearts.

This selection of music is so addictive - and the best part? James has kept it original, with no temptation to revert back to that trademark Pumpkins sound.

Superb!
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on 5 November 2007
Being a fan of Smashing Pumpkins, I got this album not really knowing what to expect, but I was pleasantly surprised!

Iha has certainly shown his ability as a songwriter - every track on the CD is beautifully crafted, with gorgeous, sunny melodies and bittersweet lyrics. It's poppy, but not mainstream; sweet, but not twee; and overall filled with a beauty and sense of longing that's evocative of hot summer afternoons and intense young love. It has great replay potential, and since ripping it to my mp3 player I have listened to it numerous times a week.

Personally the only criticism I have is that there is very little variation - and whilst I could cite the old adage 'If it ain't broke, don't fix it', it would actually be nice to see James branch out a bit. Isn't that what second albums are for?! I'm certainly hoping for one.

Whilst I would actually recommend that SP fans don't buy this without hearing it first (it is very different and it's not guaranteed to be to your taste!), what I would recommend is giving it a listen, whether just to the samples on here or to a friend's copy. It is *definitely* worth it.
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on 12 February 2014
I've had this album for a while now and lately been googling Pumpkins and James so i thought i would write in and say how much i love his debut. If you're looking for anything dark, heavy and alternative like SP then you might be disappointed as i was when i first heard it. Even James himself said he couldn't out rock the great Pumpkins so with the help of Fountains Of Wayne he grabbed his acoustic guitar and wrote something much simpler and honest which is what this album is. James has put together a beautiful heartfelt collection of love songs that literally tug at the heartstrings and eventually i swear, (if you have a heart), you will have tears running down your cheeks such is the fragile and naked beauty thats on here. Opener Be Strong Now invites you in on a pleasant strum before the band kicks in. Sound of Love is gentle and serene as James shows us he can really sing and play. Beauty has simple but effective lines that stay in your head forever. Sure some of it is a bit introspective and sentimental (stopping just short of twee) and romantic (weren't Pumpkins??) dealing with love and loss and hope. At times i wish he would stamp on the drive pedal and bring the noise so to speak. Then my fave moment arrives in Silver String and i am beside myself stunned at his heartache and passion nicely orchestrated in all the right places; in a word, beautiful! D'arcy also guests on vocals on One And Two and closer No One's Gonna Hurt You is another stone cold gem that brings a lump to your throat. Mr Iha has certainly proved here that he can write and play dispelling any harsh words from Corgan about his lack of effort on SP albums.
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on 9 January 2015
I bought this CD when it was published years ago - just thought I'd tell the Amazon world that this is a beautiful album and one of my most treasured albums - no matter how often I listen to it, it still moves me - fantastic.
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on 13 December 2000
Shying away from the Smashing Pumpkins to work on a solo effort, James really came up with the goods here!!
With a more mellow approach than the Pumkins, this record is full of gorgeous ballads and every single one have great lyrics not to mention beautiful melodies.
From the very opening of Be Strong Now to No Ones gonna hurt you, this really is a fantastic record!
If you aren't sure listen to Pumpkins B-sides such as ...said sadly and Believe and you get the general idea!
A must buy in my opinion!!!!
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on 17 September 2003
If this album doesn't make you cry you have no heart,from start to finish its a desert island disc that will have you reliving loves won and lost and those oh so might of been's.
Treasure it like like a best friends love.
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on 16 June 2002
Pumpkin fans looking for a similar beauty and honesty that pumpkin front man billy corgan's solo efforts offer will be dissapointed. This album only proves further that the smashing pumpkins were always corgan plus instrumentalists. The lyrics are full of the regular cliches and the vocals at times lacking understandably from who is essentially just a guitar player. Iha does however hit upon the odd catchy tune which provide nothing more than a refreshing happy mood to them. Iha wrote this album as a release from the intensity of the pumpkins music and it shows, whilst it is relatively relaxing at times it is nothing to go wild about.
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