Produced by: Made Records
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
You may be asking who or what is iiO? Well, anyone who knows house music will remember the house music act best known for their debut single Rapture which hit the music scene in 2001. The New York City-based band originally was comprised of producer and songwriter Markus Moser and female vocalist Nadia Ali. Ali left iiO for a solo career in 2005. Now, Nadia Ali returns to iiO for the highly anticipated final album, Exit 110 with music by Markus Moser and lyrics by Nadia Ali.
From the very first track, I was hooked. I immediately recognized the sampling featured on Itíll Be Like, a love song with incredibly catchy lyrics. The band seems to sample quite a bit on this album. Take the eighth track, Fiend - most people wouldnít recognize it in this house version, but the opening bars of Fiend are the same as the opening bars of Cheap Trickís rocking song, Mighty Wings, which was featured on the Top Gun Soundtrack. Poetica II, an extremely erotic free verse track, also has a vaguely familiar hook that I just canít put a name to. One might be annoyed with the sampling, but I really enjoyed the new house spin iiO has put on these older favorites.
The entire album features that 80's synthesizer sound that gives it an instant nostalgic feel and yet there is a newness to the poetic lyrics that I found refreshing. The songs touch on a variety of topics from love found, love lost, loss of direction, erotica and more. The lyrics are the best example of heartfelt poetry, complete with all its symbolism, set to music. The final track, Exit 110, is a completely instrumental track and a perfect composition to end the album on.
Exit 110 is an incredibly fun album that would likely be the hit of any dance party. I had really never followed iiOís music prior to this, but I find myself looking up their past albums with increasing interest, wondering how I could have ever missed this group in its heyday. Exit 110 is a must have for any house music lover out there and a fun album for all those who enjoy a little dance music with some deep lyrics.