Ian Marquis is a solo-artist extraordinaire. Playing all the instruments once again on his latest release Faces from the Static, Ian has moved a little away from the harder sounds on previous efforts and really embraced the 80's new wave sound that lead to the harder sounds of later bands.
This new album sees the marriage of two influences it seems: the industrial sounds of the 90's and it's technologies and the poppier sounds of new wave from the 80's (which of course gave birth to the former). With a good sense of production and each piece is in the right place. The only draw back in regard to instrumentation is Ian's voice, which can seemed strained at times, monotonous at others. This is rare though, and overall, it's the right voice in the right place.
The songs that majorly stand out as exceeding expectations on this album are "Everybody Plays to Win", a sonic anthem with an odd Brit-Techno-Pop feel to it, and, the real new-wave hit, "Paper Hearts / Paper Friends", which has some of the most poignant, cutting lyrics on the album. These songs would be the radio hits, if radio was still a thing, and would make the club remix scene without doubt. The real dynamic tunage, though, comes with "I Know Better (We Are Broken)", where Mr. Marquis stretches over all genres and makes a rocking/techno/pop/guitar/piano/alt hit. This is hopefully a direction to be further explored.
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