Mini album review: Iconiq - Light ahead

Mini album review: Iconiq - Light ahead | Random J Pop

Iconiq dropped a damn solid debut album back in March. But despite strong singles, hot videos, a bald head and Shiseido pimping the hell out of her; not much of an impression was left when all was said and done. So AvexTrax decided to have their Avex slave 25884 release a mini album consisting of new material and a couple of songs from their first album.

Mini album opener "Girl power" is Light ahead's weakest song. Iconiq's musical charm lies in how catchy her songs are. "Girl power" is about as easy to latch onto as a man made of jelly on rocket powered roller skates. The production is tight, but the hook and the music itself are completely forgettable. The song is just filler and is to Light ahead what "Like a virgin" was to Change myself; garbage which should have been left in a studio iMac recycle bin.

"Tokyo girl" is not Iconiq's best song. But the fact it's different from anything Iconiq delivered on Change myself is what will make you give this song a chance. And when you do, you realise the song isn't all that bad. It won't be an Iconiq song you'll play often. In fact, you'll probably never ever play it again. But it's fun, up-tempo, light-hearted, and the song comes off better with its music video. I won't be begging for Iconiq to revisit this rock pop sound any time soon unless the producer can give her something better than this to work with. But props to the ho for trying something different.

The album title track is quite possibly the best track on the album. The equally beautiful and eerie backdrop underlying the plodding drums and handclaps create a strange juxtaposition, but it works wonderfully. It's a ballad, but not really. A banger, but not quite. If you liked the album title track "Change myself", then you'll like this, as it is very similar in terms of vibe and feel. But far better in execution.

"Kiss & cry" is not a cover of Hikaru Utada's song of the same name. Although it does share the same old skool throwback vibe. "Kiss & cry" is very 80s. A rave inspired chorus complete with synth and guitar stabs which command that you step and work a little dip 'n' some shoulder.

Despite Change myself being such a solid effort, Iconiq didn't not come through strongly on the songs. She sounded good, but lacked any real distinction of vocal individuality. The new songs on Light ahead (even the crap ones) have Iconiq sounding much more vocally assertive. Particularly on "Kiss & cry", which she absolutely owns with a excess of sass and a few vocal riffs thrown in for good measure. It's nice to hear that in such a short time, Iconiq is making strides with her confidence in the studio and how she projects onto songs.

Light ahead is a nice mini album. But I can't help but think that Avex are being money hungry with it. Avex's intentions shouldn't factor into how I score the album or view the music. But it's difficult for it not to. Especially when Avex decided to have Iconiq release an 8 track debut album and then a mini album 6 months later with some songs which really should have featured on it.

If the likes of "Kiss & cry" and "Light ahead" had featured on Change myself, it would have made a hot album even hotter. It's a shame that "New season" did not find a place amongst Light ahead's tracklist, as the song is killer and a mini album this basic really could have done with it.

Come for "Light ahead" and "Kiss & cry", then run back to Change myself.

RATING: 4 / 10

Album highlights:
■ Light ahead ★ J's fave
■ Kiss & cry


Anonymous said…
wow awesome review..i like this artist too!