Icon For Hire: Self-Titled Sophomore Album Review

Band: Icon For Hire

Album: Icon For Hire

Release Date: October 15th, 2013

“Scripted,” Icon For Hire’s debut album released on August 23, 2011, quickly broke Tooth & Nail’s record for most albums sold as a new artist to the label. With this status looming over their heads, the pressure was on to have their sophomore album live up to the fan’s expectations. Early on, the band mentioned, not only would this next album exceed fans expectations, it would be the band’s self-titled album. Any time a band puts their name on an album, you know their whole reputation is at stake. Today, October 15, 2013, history was made.

Not only did Icon For Hire exceed our expectations, they transformed the Christian industry. Ariel Bloomer (lead vocalist) is irreplaceable. She is equipped with both a fashionable set of outfits and an unrivaled voice. Her voice is so clear and concise, you can taste the lyrics as they seep from the seems of every song. The stories spoken through these songs convey messages remarkably relevant to people’s lives. Songs like Sorry About Your Parents, and Fix Me tell a story hitting enormously close to home with many individuals: “Still scared to want you/I'll be the mess, you be the medicine/I'll be the mess, you play the medicine/Why don't you fix me/I can't help myself/Why don't you fix me/You know I'm fading still.” The stories are alive, refreshing, and downright matchless. You know Ariel write these songs straight from her heart. No wonder this is their self-titled album.

However, a first-rate album cannot be generated exclusively by the lead vocalist. This is where the excitement really shoots through the roof. Guitarist Shawn Jump, bassist Josh Kincheloe, and drummer Adam Kronshagen laid down beats so unfathomably fresh that this album has carved out a genre of its own. Songs like Nerves, Cynics & Critics, Pop Culture, and Watch Me are candy for the ears. Polyrhythmic beats and unparalleled timbre are found throughout the record. It is impossible to sit through the entire album without pumping your fist, singing along, and throwing out some wild dance moves. In the album’s first song, Cynics & Critics, you hear Adam knock down some gruesome double-stroke kick drum beats, and Shawn Jump and Josh Kincheloe really shine with rich rhythmic tones seen on Cynics & Critics, Counting on Hearts, and ultimately every other song on the record. Needless to say, this album is lacking very little, and is undoubtedly the best album of 2013.

Icon For Hire has famously walked the line between a Christian and Secular band. We know they are Christians, but Ariel expresses,

The average rock music lover will never have a chance to be impacted by our music if all these Christians keep calling us a Christian band online and scaring them away. Posting that we’re playing 'Holy Tabernacle Christian Fellowship' on our Facebook is a death sentence for us, it alienates us from our potential or realized non-Christian fans.

We fully support this decision. Getting Christian music to not only Christians, but non-Christians as well should be the goal of every Christian artist. This album needs to be heard by everyone. It is not just a top-tier album in the Christian market, but in the secular market as well. They made a record for the books. So what is there to look forward to after this release? Music videos and tours. The only thing looming over our heads is how they can top this album.

It would not be surprising if Icon For Hire becomes the top requested artist at many concerts and festivals. They have set the bar for every rock album to come. We are exited to see what the future holds for this unparalleled band.

- Keelin, VP of JesusRockNet

View the band's page here: Icon For Hire

Buy the album here: iTunes Album