Look to the Sky

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Look to the Sky
Looktothesky.jpg
Studio album by
Released14 March 2012
Recorded2010–2011
GenreAlternative rock
Length49:12
LabelThe End, EMI Music Japan
ProducerJames Iha, Nathan Larson
James Iha chronology
Let It Come Down
(1998)
Look to the Sky
(2012)

Look to the Sky is the second solo album of James Iha, guitarist of The Smashing Pumpkins. It was released on 14 March 2012 in Japan, with a worldwide release in September 2012.[1] The album has many collaborations, including Karen O and Nick Zinner (Yeah Yeah Yeahs), Sara Quin (Tegan and Sara), Nathan Larson (Shudder To Think), Nina Persson (The Cardigans), Tom Verlaine (Television)[2] and Mike Garson.[3]

Release

Look to the Sky was released on September 18, 2012 in the US and September 24, 2012 in the UK, with "To Who Knows Where" acting as the lead single supporting the album release.[4] Due to the albums prior Japanese release date in March, it is noted that the track listing has been amended to accommodate an international UK/US release. The following November, "Speed of Love" was released as a single digitally and later on 7" vinyl.

Critical reception

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic4/5 stars[5]
Chicago Sun-Times3/4 stars[6]
Mojo4/5 stars[7]
PopMatters8/10[8]

AllMusic critic Matt Collar gave a positive review, writing: "If Let It Come Down was Iha's sun-dappled West Coast folk-rock break from the creative turmoil and personal squabbles of the Pumpkins, then Look to the Sky is his more austere, if no less captivating, look back from the sun and toward the dark moon of his alt-rock '90s past."[5] Chicago Sun-Times' Thomas Conner thought that "Iha shows up with this well-written, beautifully played set as a gentle reminder of his talent."[6] Mojo critic Fred Dellar thought that on the album, Iha "shaped some additional, more diverse sounds" while retaining the melodic approach of his debut.[7] Enio Chiola of PopMatters described the album as a "beautiful and calming record."[8] Seattle Post-Intelligencer reviewer Charlie Doherty stated that "this new effort sees the ex-Pumpkin guitarist branch out and take in a myriad of other influences."

Track listing

All tracks are written by James Iha, except where noted.

Japanese release
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Make Believe" 2:43
2."Summer Days"Iha, Nathan Larson3:35
3."To Who Knows Where" 4:18
4."Till Next Tuesday"Iha, Vanessa Quinones, Andreas Mattsson, Niclas Frisk3:49
5."Dream Tonight" 3:14
6."Dark Star"Iha, Nathan Larson4:55
7."Appetite" 4:11
8."Gemini" 3:53
9."Waves" 3:38
10."Speed of Love"Iha, Niclas Frisk3:44
11."4th of July" 3:40
12."A String of Words" 3:56
Japanese edition bonus tracks
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
13."Diamond Eyes" 3:56
14."Stay Lost"Iha, Mira Billotte3:34
International Release / US vinyl
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Make Believe" 2:43
2."To Who Knows Where" 4:18
3."Gemini" 3:53
4."Speed of Love"Iha, Niclas Frisk3:44
5."Till Next Tuesday"Iha, Vanessa Quinones, Andreas Mattsson, Niclas Frisk3:14
6."Summer Days"Iha, Nathan Larson4:55
7."Appetite" 4:11
8."Dream Tonight" 3:53
9."New Year's Day" 3:38
10."Waves" 3:38
11."A String of Words" 3:56
International edition CD bonus tracks
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
12."4th of July" 3:40
13."Dark Star"Iha, Nathan Larson4:55

Release history

Released Label Catalog ID Format Country Discogs MusicBrainz
March 14, 2012 EMI TOCP-71265 CD Japan 3622189 7e76c682-a265-4137-9a3f-eb333d1530bb [1][2]
September 18, 2012 The End TE288-1 LP (blue vinyl) US 3893508 64d38f3f-5671-4ab8-89dd-d4e9b603de20 [3]
September 18, 2012 The End TE288-2 CD UK & Europe 3884206 [3][4]

More releases: DiscogsMusicBrainz

Personnel

  • James Iha – vocals, acoustic and electric guitars, bass, piano, synth, glockenspiel, treatments, producer, string arrangements
  • Nathan Larson – guitar, bass, synth, treatments (tracks 1, 6, 7, 11, 13) and "New Year's Day", string arrangements (tracks 1, 5, 12), horn arrangements (tracks 5, 7)
  • Kevin March – drums on "To Who Knows Where", "Till Next Tuesday", "Gemini", "4th Of July", "A String Of Words" and "Stay Lost"
  • Tom Verlaine – guitars on "Till Next Tuesday" and "Appetite"
  • Sara Quin – vocals on "To Who Knows Where" and "Dream Tonight"
  • Josh Lattanzi – guitars, harmony vocals on "Dream Tonight" and "Diamond Eyes"
  • Nina Persson – vocals on "Make Believe" and "Till Next Tuesday"
  • Nick Zinner – guitar on "Dream Tonight"
  • Adam Schlesinger – bass on "Speed Of Love"
  • Karen O – vocals on "Waves"
  • Mike Garson – piano on "Appetite"
  • Niclas Frisk – guitars on "Till Next Tuesday" and "Speed Of Love"
  • Andreas Mattsson – vocals, strings on "Till Next Tuesday"
  • Arjun Agerwala – vocals on "4th Of July" and "New Year's Day"
  • Jon Graboff – pedal steel on "Dark Star", "4th Of July" and "Diamond Eyes"
  • Geoff Sanoff – bass on "Till Next Tuesday"
  • Alexis Fleisig – drums on "Speed Of Love"
  • Neal Casal – vocals on "To Who Knows Where", "Till Next Tuesday" and "Speed Of Love"
  • Kelly Pratt and Jon Natchez – horns, woodwinds on "Dream Tonight" and "Appetite"
  • Maxim Moston – violins on "Dream Tonight", "4th Of July", "A String Of Words" and "Diamond Eyes"
  • Julia Kent – cello on "Dream Tonight", "4th Of July", "A String Of Words" and "Diamond Eyes"
  • Tim Byrnes – trumpet on "A String Of Words"

Production

  • Produced By James Iha & Nathan Larson
  • Engineered By Arjun Agerwala, Geoff Sanoff, Rudyard Lee Cullers, Michael Nesci, Adam Tilzer
  • Assistant Engineered by Atsuo Matsumoto
  • Mixed By John Holbrook (tracks 1, 6, 14), Geoff Sanoff (tracks 2, 4, 5, 7, 9, 11), Arjun Agerwala (tracks 3, 8, 10, 12, 13)
  • Mastered By Joe LaPorta

Additional personnel

  • Illustrations by Leanne Shapton
  • Art Direction by Triboro
  • B&W Artist Photography by Tyler Udall
  • Color Artist Photography by Aliya Naumoff
  • Landscape Photography by James Iha

References

  1. "News". James Iha official website. 12 February 2012.
  2. "James Iha - Look to the Sky". The End Records. 15 October 2012. Archived from the original on 10 August 2014. Retrieved 15 October 2012.
  3. "MP3: James Iha – "Summer Days"". Obscure Sound. 15 October 2012.
  4. "Song Premiere: James Iha, 'To Who Knows Where'". Rolling Stone. 15 October 2012.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Collar, Matt. "Look to the Sky - James Iha". AllMusic. Retrieved 15 October 2012.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Conner, Thomas (September 17, 2012). "Kanye West's own songs stand out on G.O.O.D. Music compilation". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on September 21, 2012. Retrieved October 3, 2015.CS1 maint: unfit url (link)
  7. 7.0 7.1 Dellar, Fred (December 2012). "James Iha - Look to the Sky". Mojo: 88.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Chiola, Enio (October 12, 2012). "James Iha - Look to the Sky". PopMatters. Retrieved October 3, 2015.