We Plug to You... Izzi Dunn -- Cries & Smiles
Reviewed by doJo.
"It's been a long time / I shouldn'tve left you / without some dope music to plug you..."
Hey everyone. Depending on when you're reading this (and what side of the globe you're on lol), how's your day (or night)? The plan was for my grand return to these here internets to be filled with fireworks, kissed newborns & champagne, and it was also supposed to be like a month ago. But things happen, life happens, etc. I'm here now, and that's all that matters! A few weeks ago, Ayo sent me some jams in my inbox, and I have to say I'm definitely vibing to it.
So here I am, plugging to you, Izzi Dunn. Now, I must admit that I must have been living under a rock when it comes to Ms. Dunn, for this was the first time I'd ever heard any of her music. What a big rock that was, let me tell you. Izzi Dunn is an acclaimed multi-instrumentalist and singer who has collaborated with the likes of Gorillaz, Roots Manuva and Mark Ronson. With her sophomore release Cries and Smiles, she brings another dose of beautiful fusion of R&B, jazz and soul for our ears.
My favorite song off of the album is Kill Me Slow.
First of all, the production on this track is complete & utter perfection. The orchestration gives me life. And can we talk about her lyrics? "Under my skin, the pain runs deep. your insidious poison seeps like blood stains in the snow. You kill me slow..." The imagery is so vivid, it's like you can close your eyes and just see all of this in front of you. The dark tone of the music definitely complements the subject matter. My heart is kinda breaking FOR her, that's how much pain there is in these lyrics. You as the listener FEEL all of it.
The title track, "Cries and Smiles," is one of those songs that kind of makes you want to evaluate your life, with lyrics such as "...are we just slaves to the rhythm or...just as free as we wanna be?" Once again, the production is on point with this song. Multiple head nods during this song, and the breakdown near the end before the third verse is amazing. I think it could be used as a manifesto of sorts, actually. With so many people living their lives with jobs they hate, or maybe wanting to do more with what they've been given, this song can definitely give you that extra push to want to become the person you want to be.
"...Tits and ass make the world go 'round..."
This song is charging. The bass is awesome, but more than that, the song is basically about how the daily use of T&A is used to sell everything. She speaks about the nature of how sexuality is used to sell product -- the more "artsy" it is, the more we're willing to accept it, but when it's blatant, we reject & denounce it. There seems to be no even ground.
If you're still iffy on whether to check this out (which I hope you're not!), sample the song "When It Comes to Love." It's whimsical and very orchestral, and it reminds me of a beautiful spring day. Sonically, "Cries and Smiles" is a joy to ears, and lyrically, it's a treat for minds & hearts alike. As this was my first foray into hearing any material by Izzi Dunn, I must say that I was thoroughly impressed. Any great meshing of jazz, R&B and soul will get an automatic listen from me, and this album has definitely made me a fan.
Purchase: Izzi Dunn - Cries & Smiles
'til next time,