An artist who's no stranger to reinventing himself, Kazzer moves away from rap-rock toward a more reflective and confessional rock sound on Irons in the Fire, his second album as Redlight King. With less emphasis on samples, the album finds the singer/songwriter shifting toward a more traditional sound, and given his knack for gritty introspection, the injection of more hard rock and adult alternative influences is a welcome change. This makes for a rather fitting parallel to his own life and career, which finds the singer always trying to embrace moving forward toward something new while still remembering the things that got him to where he is. The downside of this change is that it leaves Irons in the Fire feeling a bit scattered, and although the album is held together thematically with an introspective vibe, stylistically it feels like Redlight King is jumping around the radio dial hoping to land on a hit. While the individual pieces of the album are all solidly crafted, the lack of cohesion between the songs as it jumps from adult alternative to rap to hard rock makes it feel more like a compilation of singles than an album with a singular vision. Though the decision to move Redlight King's sound away from sample-heavy rap-rock was definitely a good one, Irons in the Fire feels like Kazzer is trying to go in too many new directions at once. Fortunately, the songs on the album are well-crafted enough that listeners will be able to enjoy them while the band figures out exactly where they want to end up.
Irons in the Fire Review
by Gregory Heaney