JBK are capable of some exquisite work, but minus Sylvian they can be self indulgent, and Ism has far too many reference points. The excellent "Shallow Pool" throws in everything from sampled radio to violins. Barbieri's breezy synth work leads into a Jansen thrash for the chorus. Ism then struggles to find itself, descending into a confused mishmash of overlong vocal/instrumental tracks like "Carry the Ashes," which is semi-engaging but stretched too thin over eight minutes. Guest vocalists also clutter the album; Zoe Nibblet helps out on three pieces, including the pleasant yet haunting "Red Track Dance." Best of the lot is endgame "Found in a Shell of Murmers," evoking memories of how good they really are and what the rest of the record is missing.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Kelvin Hayes