- Release date:
- February 3, 2009
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The buzz: San Francisco singer-songwriter Aaron Aites released a couple of recordings as Iran, including 2003's clever "The Moon Boys," before teaming with TV on the Radio's Kyp Malone and David Sitek to produce this addictive dose of space-pop. Those first releases were crafted mostly in his apartment; this time around, he entered a studio and had Sitek produce this ambitious, cerebral effort. Sounds like the beginning of a beautiful relationship.
The verdict: With Malone and Aaron Romanello on guitar, the multi-instrumentalist Aites stretches out. The shredded math rock of "Baby Let's Get High One Last Time Together" is by no means straightforward, but damn if it isn't habit-forming. Same goes for the opener "I Can See the Future," whose bouncy stomp catches more fire by the second. Sometimes Aites stretches too far: "Airport '79" is smart for sure, but it's too formulaic for him. It's when he gets strange—like on the deliberate, distorted pounds of "Where I'm Going" or "Can I Feel What?"—that he really shines. The phrase "keep it simple" just doesn't apply to Iran. And it shouldn't.
Did you know? Don't worry, politicians. Iran's name comes from Philip K. Dick's seminal sci-fi story, "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?", which later became the classic film, "Blade Runner."