CD REVIEW: Sir Ivan - I am Peaceman
By: Cyrus Rhodes
"Sir Ivan brings the mojo"
"messages of hope"
- INDIE MUSIC DIGEST -
Artist: Sir Ivan
CD: I am Peaceman
Label: Peaceman Music
Genre: Tecno, Chill Out, Dub, Electronica, Modern Pop
Sounds Like: Haddaway, Gioia
Technical Grade: 10/10
New York based Electro/Pop/Rock artist Sir Ivan releases his first ever full length 15 song CD entitled I am Peaceman in 2010. There’s an amazing story behind this once banker/financial guru turned artist. In 2000 while listening to John Lennon’s "Imagine" Sir Ivan was struck by the lyrics & how closely they mirrored his own belief’s. This inspired him to re-create the song which would later end up becoming a top 40 Billboard Club party hit. Sir Ivan also appeared as a finalist on the Primetime NBC Sci-Fi Channel hit series “Who wants to be a Superhero.”
The CD takes flight with “For what it’s Worth” a thought provoking remake of Buffalo Springfields' "Stop What’s That Sound" that sets the stage rather appropriately for this catalogue of music with it's driving rock rhythms, pulsating bass groove with a grand mosaic of exotic soundscapes & melodies. Track 2 the Turtles classic “Happy Together” serves up steady bass driven vibe against pulsating melody & vocal layering that can be described as captivating, mesmerizing & infectious. Track 3 dishes out The Troggs 1967 classic “Love is All Around” which has everything from solo guitar, pulsating keyboard & synthesizer accents, & exotic layers of sound that come at you from all directions. As the CD slowly unfolds I can hear many different musical textures reminiscent of classic Euro techno meshed with electronica & dub out/chill type musical textures with perhaps a splash of Modern Pop, Industrial & even rock. Sir Ivan brings to the table a wide range of instrumentation & impressive session players. You will notice rich musical textures overflowing everywhere - from driving electronic drums, percussive grooves, exotic Tabla accents, amazing guitar solos to pulsating bass meshed with synthesizers & well placed keyboard accents. Sir Ivan's vocal presence refuse to try to hard & are never over the top. There isn't really a dull moment on the musical production anywhere. From striking “Peace on Earth” to the impressive John Lennon remake “Imagine” to my personal favorite “Hare Krishna” this CD has something for just about everyone. The CD ends with “Kumbaya” the perfect finale statement for a CD of this caliber. Sir Ivan demonstrates his impressive interpretations of many classic songs like Bob Dylan’s ”Blowin in the Wind” to Scott McKenzie’s “San Francisco”, & “Live for Today” by Grass Roots, “Eve of Destruction” by Barry McGuire, "In the Year of 2525” by Zager & Evans, “Get Together” by The Youngblood’s, & “Here Comes the Sun” by the Beetles. At the end of the day it’s a musical catalogue hand-picked for its uplifting spirit that personifies the human spirit & offers hope for all humanity.
I normally dedicate this paragraph to weaknesses I discover as I listen to the production. However as the CD progressed I eventually gave up on all that. Like the aforementioned this is a catalogue is a tribute of sorts to many classic songs from a powerful time period in this worlds history when world peace was the focal point. Having said that I would be very interested in hearing more in the vein original music from Sir Ivan on his next release to get a better understanding who he is an artist.
From start to finish I am Peaceman by Sir Ivan one of the strongest, most diverse musical experiences I’ve encountered this year. From start to finish extremely consistent, original sounding, & extremely melodic. It’s strength - its rich sonic layering, unique musical personality & amazing messages of hope. I give Sir Ivan a lot of credit for boldly trying to reach the world with his unique musical signature but also putting his own stamp on these classics. Make no bones about it Sir Ivan’s brings the mojp. When the ride is over you will be dazzled by its spin, overwhelmed by its passion, & mesmerized by the amazing musical spirit that is none other than Sir Ivan.