Imaad Wasif Imaad Wasif

[Kill Rock Stars; 2006]

Rating: 3.5/5

Styles:  folky-poppy-rock
Others: Mutations-Era Beck

It's easy to forget that sometimes only a few elements are needed to effectively communicate musical ideas. Hearing that Imaad Wasif is the Yeah Yeah Yeahs' touring guitarist, I expected that I would be getting a feast of jagged guitars rather than a beautifully minimal pop record. "Sparks" serves as a mission statement of sorts, not much else but a guitar and a voice. Wasif subtly adds a second layer of distorted guitar into the mix during the chorus, and it is all the melody needs to go into the stratosphere. It's not as though this is minimalist music — rather, it is poppy-folky-rock at its core — but Wasif seems to be tinkering with how few elements he can use to make his songs truly wonderful. Even eschewing having a full-time drummer, a few songs have some well-placed drum hits to punctuate the already present percussive elements in his songs. Wasif is able to create a lot out of very little, making every sound count, and more importantly, making sure that the songwriting, singing, and melody are top-notch. Shoot, this is good enough it may even get me out to see the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

1. Spark
2. Out in the Black
3. Whisper
4. Into the Static
5. Fade In Me
6. Isolation
7. Blade
8. Coil
9. Without
10. (Dandelion)
11. Tomorrow Is Ours

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