Published Mar 27, 2015Come Into Gone is indie rock that could use a little more soul. Daniel Isaiah emphasizes structure instead of dynamics this time around, a tough call that ultimately results in a slower start to the party compared to the diverse, jukebox-like collection of French and English songs that comprised his 2011 solo debut, High Twilight.
It's apparent here that the Montréal singer-songwriter set out to write a more cohesive album than his whimsical debut, and Come Into Gone is made up of brief narratives that deal with Isaiah's personal life and add up to a portrait of the artist: "Tug of War" relates his struggles with Judaism's belief in God, and "Two Brothers" is, oddly enough, about his step-sister. Like Pedro the Lion's David Bazan, Isaiah is at ease when he tells a story; it's no surprise he's also an award-wining screenwriter.
But, for some reason, the songwriting on his sophomore album doesn't seem as effortless. The serious nature of opening track "Heart Attack" is undercut by wispy melodies that sound like Tom Petty if he were feeling particularly apathetic one day. Backing vocals and rhythmic charm help Isaiah out on the following tune "Sail" and jangly guitar hooks keep the otherwise unmemorable song "I Had To Fight" from complete inanity. When things finally do get interesting — and they do, thank goodness — it's unmistakeably the album's best moment: the single "Heaven Is On Fire" grooves when it's most needed. The song's catchiness puts the rest of the album to shame, but serves as a reminder that Isaiah can be an expert songwriter when he wants to be. (Secret City)