Well, this Italian band some years ago had the name of If, but in 2010 they decided to change it in order to put a more personal and unique touch to their project, so people can now easily recognize them as Ifsounds. With that change of name they also changed their style in some way, producing more mature and interesting music than in their first years, a clear example is their album “Apeirophobia”. Now, in 2012 they released a new studio album entitled “Red Apple” in which they confirm their sound and direction. This album features 11 songs with a total time of 61 minutes approximately.
So the alarm sounds and it is “Another Dawn”, “it is 6 o´clock in the morning of a Wednesday 7th, November 2012. This is an introductory track, a new album, a new day…and then keyboards enter along with guitars and drums, to be honest, the style reminds me of Parsons’ “Sirius”. “Red Apple” begins with delicate acoustic guitar and then the other elements are being introduced little by little. Here we can listen to female voice, cool drums and a great keyboard work. The album starts promising!
Let me tell you that the album runs as if it were a single song divided in 11 tracks, they are all connected, you can tell it by the “narrator”. “Web Tube Stars” is a cool song, catchy but faster, with nice backing vocals while the front female one does her work. The rock element is more present here, we can notice it with the guitar riffs, though the prog one is also evident in the last minute with the keyboard fiesta. “Messages from the Stars” is a cool instrumental track, that guides us to the atmospheric and experimental sound of Ifsounds, here one can close the eyes and see images, and also feel water, space, vertigo, a lot of things, and when that happens, means that the music was successful with you.
“After” is a sweet kind of lullaby, here with male vocals and a truly soft and relaxing sound, not a ballad, but neither a rock song. After three minutes it changes and introduces guitars and drums in a cool instrumental passage where the emotions increase. A second half of the song begins at minute four when female voice appears, so a new structure is now being built, though the soft sound prevails, but now with a sexy addition of a saxophone.
“They’re Almost Here” shows once again their atmospheric and experimental side in the first minute, the kind of futuristic sounds created give a cool slice of our destiny, which is greatly accompanied by Federica’s voice. There is a beautiful violin after minute two, it adds cadence, while in the other hand, we can listen to sorrowful sounds. Then all of a sudden we listen to a scream and the song becomes heavier. “New World Order” is one of my favorite tracks, it has a clear jazzy tendency that makes a wonderful contrast with the spoken words from the “President Nicholas Wakeman”, here I really love how they managed to blend music and words, two worlds apart made one, so the listener can enjoy both phases and pay attention to them as one body. The voice disappears after three minutes and the music becomes again faster and rockier, great!
“Red Sun Tonight” shares delicacy and softness, one can listen to it and feel ease and relaxed, I like the acoustic guitar work and the female voice in the first half; then, in the second half the music changes, an ambulance can be heard, keyboards have a main role, the sound is more intense and emotional, and one can feel trapped somehow. Great. “Space Refugees” may be the proggiest track here, the instruments play what they want in different places but all in the same one, hope you get me; the bass lines are great, guitars and keys produce a kind of spacey mood, while drums add a jazzy touch. The first part, the instrumental one, might be my favorite from the whole album; later the song changes, vocals appear (main and back) and a softer mood as well, though it only lasts for a minute and a half and then it changes again with a rockier passage, just before the radio host enters.
“The Crossing” is a delicate and beautiful piano based piece, a wonderful contrast with the album, it has nothing to do with the previous songs, but it does fit there. The last song of the album is “Christmas 2012” and though Christmas should be a good time, here we can sense some melancholy and regret, “there once was advanced people who suddenly disappeared”, not so far from the real world; though there is still hope. Nice song to finish this excellent album.
It is a solid work from Ifsounds, I like the music and the concept, they really sound as an experimented band now! Truly recommendable, my grade 9 out of 10.