Highs and lows are felt within ‘Performance,’ the sophomore album of L.A. based — by way of Indiana — singer/songwriter Stone Irr. Much anticipated, the album, that dropped Sept. 20, is described by Irr as an exploration into the “relationship between observer and observed.”
From the ghostly album artwork to the distance and echoey dreamlike atmosphere of tunes, ‘Performance’ is a great maturation of sound and lyrical content for the artist as he reflects on the hardships and sweetness of life.
Now a little older and with a little more experience, Irr is able to distill his experiences into a synched and polished collection that is both easy to digest and altogether thought provoking.
Starting off slow and a little sleepy, opening track “All We Want Anymore” begins the carousel ride where moments are reflected as they go round and round. It’s an open and floaty song, with soft and saturated vocals that also ebb and flow throughout the album.
“Storyline” is a lofty contraption of relief and transition. Compared to “Calm,” a title misleading and rather moody predecessor, “Storyline” is sonically more uplifting, with a wide but balanced range of emotions woven into its peaks and valleys.
The album continues with a slightly more positive outlook with “Move,” an angsty, but youthful decree of hopeful happenings. It’s a love stalemate, but not a lost cause.
Stone Irr’s ‘Performance’ is a wonderful contrast of pop delight and lyrical depth. It is honest and forthright, but not naive or too indulgent, reflecting the artist’s Midwest origins and his recent move to Los Angeles.
Ending with “Lift Your Shirt,” the album is a distant car ride into the unknown. It’s a fading but fond memory you hold onto. It’s neither entirely sad nor happy, but somewhere in between; right next to it are all the grey areas of life we can’t quite describe.