Sincerely, Iris’ Best Left Free is an interesting listen but you need to work for it. At the surface you hear the steady acoustic strums and get lulled to sleep a bit before you realize there are hidden nuances that could easily go unnoticed.
The songs have interesting textures for being largely just simple acoustic numbers. Songs are each given their own musical identity, like the gentle crescendo building on “Right To You” that makes the sappy, ultimate sweetness of the song keep from getting too sugary to digest. The steady death march strums of “Already Dead” has an intensity and focus that is unparalleled on the rest of the record. Much of the album is made up of songs that will make you feel like you are seeing a good open mic performance. The lullabyesque “Into The Dark” and the Jack Johnson softness of “Far Away” are largely what you’ll get here.
Special moments like the tinge of Spanish sounding guitar on “After Sunday School” and the jangly power strums of the opening track “Best Left Free” are among the stronger moments here. If the ultra sensitive guy can break character long enough to keep throwing curve balls like these onto his records he should find a nice balance with room for love songs and slower numbers. Many times it is the difference in the shades that makes things stand out. You might have to listen closely to appreciate Sincerely, Iris right now but their are rewards to reap if you do.
Key Tracks: “Already Dead” “After Sunday School”