Diffusion Records (00072)
Release Date: May 1, 2003

After The Echoing Green's The Winter Of Our Discontent, we thought we'd heard what would be the best album of 2003. While we had been tremendously pleased with Iris' first album, Disconnect, we weren't sure if they would be able to do it again. Awakening proved that Iris was a band that we needed to continue to watch closely.

The album opens with the passive-aggressive "Whatever", a thunderous track in which the speaker seems to be both dismissive and supportive of a loved one. "Sentimental Scar" was a song that took a little while to catch my attention, but has come to be one of my favorites on the disc. The flow of the vocal delivery is amazing; while the lyrics are rather cryptic (Iris seem to have picked up the cryptic lyric torch that Duran Duran dropped somewhere in the 1990's), the images are quite vivid. Among the many highlights of the album, "Sorrow Expert" is truly one of the best tracks the band has done. It's a stomping dance-oriented track that just needs a slight push farther to make it a worthy club classic. Several songs on the album are in more of a mid-tempo vein, with one of the best of these being "In Spite". All of the songs, actually, I would classify as excellent, with the one exception of "Island." While not a bad song, it feels like a weak close to the album.

Overall, I'd have to say that this album is highly recommended, and definitely worthwhile. Even the "bad" spot, isn't truly bad.

(originally reviewed by Daniel Aeschliman on January 17, 2004, amended on May 2, 2005)

Diffusion Records (00072)
  • Whatever
  • When I'm Not Around
  • Sentimental Scar
  • Unknown
  • Sorrow Expert
  • You're The Answer
  • In Spite
  • Vacant
  • Wait Move On
  • Island

All songs written by Iris except
"You're The Answer" by Mitchell Adrian & David Michael

All songs produced by Iris
Review © 2004/2005 Daniel Aeschliman
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