Ian Knapp

Into These Oceans

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British singer/songwriter Ian Knapp has a love-and-hate relationship with the human race. It becomes immediately apparent on Into These Oceans that the man has a bone to pick with his own species. In the hilariously sarcastic opening track, "If the Aliens Came," Knapp spats, "If the aliens came here they'd think we were crazy insane/They would turn round their spaceships, head back in the direction they came/With a mark in their notebook to never come here again." A bitingly funny commentary on society's gradual moral decay, "If the Aliens Came" combines Elvis Costello's vitriol with Thom Yorke's alienation from the planet Earth. Knapp's voice -- raspy, quivering -- is effective in its unpolished delivery. Knapp's vocals recall Mike Scott's from the Waterboys except that he isn't aiming for a big sound; instead, Into These Oceans is fairly low-key and intimate. However, that doesn't mean it's mellow. Knapp's influences include Nirvana as well as Bob Dylan, which is why his guitars can be brittle and edgy at times. "Jumping the Wall" is almost like a parallel-world recording wherein Kurt Cobain had lived to produce a solo album. Not all of Knapp's lyrics are focused, but his electrifying performances make even the most unsteady of songwriting crackle like a thunderbolt.

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