James Iha, ‘Speed of Love’ – Song Review
Billy Corgan isn't the only member of the classic Smashing Pumpkins lineup still churning out alt-rock ditties these days. Former Pumpkins guitarist James Iha, who parted ways with the band when they split in 2000 and wasn't invited back when they reunited in 2005, has been involved in several projects since, including the Maynard James Keenan-fronted alternative metal supergroup A Perfect Circle and the power pop supergroup Tinted Windows. With Iha's status as "super" solidified, he recently returned to his own music, issuing his second solo platter, ‘Look to the Sky,' earlier this year.
‘Look to the Sky' showed promise with its first single, ‘To Who Knows Where,' which found Iha's knack for catchy melodies intact and a displayed a new focus on a fuller sound, thanks in part to the lush harmonies of guest vocalist Sara Quin of Tegan and Sara fame.
New single 'Speed of Love' shows that the extremely simple and direct approach of Iha's 1998 debut solo set 'Let It Come Down' remains, but its stripped-down sound is once again pushed aside in favor of multiple layers of instrumentation, expertly polished in the capable hands of producer Nathan Larson, formerly of Shudder to Think (and no, this 'Speed of Love' isn't a cover of the Shudder to Think tune).
Iha tapped Niclas Frisk of Swedish rock band Atomic Swing to co-write 'Speed of Love,' which features a variety of guest musicians -- including Adam Schlesinger of Fountains of Wayne and Tinted Windows on bass, Alexis Fleisig of Girls Against Boys on drums and Neal Casal of Ryan Adams' backing band the Cardinals offering guest vocals -- and all that additional input helps the tune rise above its simple composition. It's nothing that will blow you away, but it's certainly more than the sum of its modest parts.
Listen to James Iha, 'Speed of Love'