After a sensational debut EP in 2018, fans have been wanting a full-length release from iDK HOW. When they came into the music scene, it was evident that they were rocking on their own characteristic sound, which twisted what we knew of 80s and Party-styled music and placed it in the alternative-pop genre. Once “Razzmatazz” was announced, the hype for their debut full-length occurred. Let’s dive in to see if these tunes were worth the wait. Jumping right in, when listening to this record you should be prepared for contrast, contrast, contrast. This artist sets the foundation for each track to fit the mold of the alternative-pop scene in terms of both instrumentation, soundscape, and overall approach to music. This allows for the nice flow from track to track that is present on this album. Additionally, this allows for the band to bend and twist their sound in whatever way they wish, moving from track to track since that underlying cohesion is already present. Additional to the foundation, the band pulls influence from the 80s, New Wave, Party, Mod, and Jazz musical genres to influence the overall style of each track. This is either heard through the chord progressions, the orchestration, how the focus is put on the melodic line, the instruments present, and the overall gloss that puts the finishing touch on each selection. If I were to break this down, I could say that each song sounds very different from the one that comes before and after it because there are so many influences coming from so many different musical directions, but that’s what makes this record special. It is so difficult to layer different musical styles in a flow of an album, and make it work to fit an aesthetic, a theme, and make it appealing to listeners: that’s exactly what iDK HOW did. Overall, I am giving this record a 5 out of 5 stars. This album is getting such a score because it’s hard to refute the pure musicianship and solid result that has come to be because of this record. It is truly a must-listen, and I believe this record will take iDK HOW places.
“Leave Me Alone”, “New Invention”, and “Lights Go Down”
As one listens to this record as a whole, it is apparent that every track on the make is required to really enjoy the whole experience the band has put together. So, when trying to pin-point which selections reign supreme, it’s best to connect to the songs that are going to stick in the listener’s head and bop the best. You guessed it- these are those tracks. As talked about in the general review, the band bounces around several genre influences while remaining strong in the alternative-pop category. That makes for catchy selections back to back, which would favor just spinning the entire album, but if you just want something that will really pull you in- I would start here.
When glancing at the album artwork, it can be said that the band is continuing with their minimalist approach to image with this work, which resembles their previous EP release. Staying on brand is a smart move for a debut LP, and with an image that is as sleek as this one- it will definitely draw in some attention. Let’s turn to see the connection that lies between that and the music. When listening to the music, as talked about in the general review, we heard how there is this nod to the New Wave/Mod/80s style of music but flipped to make it fashion in terms of the current music scene. This relates to the cover image completely, for the background is very limited- mutual, but the name of the album is presented in an innovative and modern font. Yes, the connection between the two is small, but when the cover art is as minimal as it is- the artist wants the music to mainly speak for itself, and it does. However, even in that situation, a connection occurs. I would say this was a solid pairing to tie the whole record together.
*”Razzmatazz” was released on October 23rd, 2020 through Fearless Records.