[ALBUM REVIEW] Imagination Head – On/Off

Sometimes it helps to know the band bio.   That’s certainly the case for Atlanta transplants Imagination Head, who came to life as a solo outlet for frontman J.R. Wicker.   Imagination Head is a full-fledged band now, with five other members on a variety of instruments, but there’s still a noticeable singer-songwriter core.   It isn’t hard to envision Wicker playing these songs solo with nothing but his voice and an acoustic guitar.

That’s not meant as a slight on the rest of the band, though.   The songs on On/Off could be performed solo, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they should be.  The band fills out these tracks nicely, often in unexpected ways that give the songs much of their personality.   That folk rock core is decked out with airy keyboards, xylophone, male/female harmonies, and electric guitar that has enough grit and heft to keep things from drifting too far into twee territory.  They even get away with using a sitar.

While the music stays bright, clean, and clear, the lyrics frequently skew toward the dystopian and paranoid.  Wicker sings about tombstones, caskets, and plastic smiles.   There are concrete roses growing in the garden and the TV’s giving you cancer.   It’s all delivered with such a light touch, though, that even the bleakest lyrics go down cheerfully.

That album title is appropriate.  On/Off is a well-executed exercise in contrasts, and evidence of a smart, ambitious band with the ability to flesh out their themes both formally and lyrically.

You can download “Tomorrow’s Garden” below.  The full album is available to purchase on iTunes.

Imagination Head – Tomorrow’s Garden

    • jason faggard
    • February 8th, 2011

    Amazing album! Wow! Ear Candy! Great Job Guys!

  1. January 31st, 2011
  2. March 8th, 2011

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