After watching him strum sullenly beside Billy Corgan for so many years, no one would guess that, deep down, Smashing Pumpkins guitarist James Iha was such a ray of sunshine. But that's precisely the impression offered by Iha's first solo album, "Let It Come Down." Light, bright and cheery, Iha's songs are worlds away from the alt-rock angst of the Pumpkins.
"Sound of Love" recalls the hippy phase of Donovan's career, while "Winter" evokes the melancholy warmth of Jack Bruce's acoustic songs for Cream. So even though Iha's singing doesn't always match his strengths as a songwriter and guitarist, the general good feelings he evokes more than make up the difference.
2 1/2 stars
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