The I Am Human album is a spectacular representation of ILSE’s winding journey: a woman-takes-on-world capsule odyssey and very much a small wonder – a transfixing amalgam of alchemic quality: feather-delicate yet diamond-hard; imbued with achingly vulnerable streaks still insists on tough-as-nails, self-worth configuration.
This fascinating fusion – bruised, throbbing human and feminine emotions delivered in a confident, almost swaggering sparkly lucid sounds and musical production – is well mastered by boldface names behind the consoles in the likes of Grammy-nominated Producer/Musician Joshua Valleau (John Legend, James Blake, BBC), Columbia Records, Sony UK Composer/Producer Sebastiaan Vandevoorde (Moonlight Matters, Arches, Villa; remixed artists such as Adele, Lana Del Rey, Ellie Goulding, Moby), Violinist/Arranger/Composer Juliette Jones of Jules & The Dirty Collective (Florence + The Machine, Pharrell Williams, Aretha Franklin, Janelle Monae, J.Cole, Nicki Minaj) and even Grammy winning producer Ricky Key. And so this monumental piece enviously features both up-tempo songs boasting a state-of-the-art production gadgetry as well as earth shattering timeless ballads with piano and strings – well demonstrated in an impressive assortment of hits:
I AM (Intro)
The journey begins with an enigmatic intro, I Am, which introduces and gradually nurtures two robot-like voices (one male, one female) that clash and intertwine as squabbled sounds swell up to a climatic delivery, giving birth to contemporary and troubling questions: are we really still human in this day and age? In this cyber purgatory, why must it be so hard to find something real?
WE DO IT FOR LOVE
We Do It For Love – Electrifying, futuristic sounds pulsate away in this heady hypnotic tribal flurry. This tribe is not particularly an exotic or an endangered one: it’s the ever-growing circle of lovers and we are all life-time MOTs. Resistance is futile to this mesmerizing foray lead by the Queen of The Lovers.
Déjà Vu brings us an emotive, pensive to the point of haunting ballad, throbbing with suppressed desires, as an unnerving piano countered by sleek drum machines picks up as it goes, swelling up into a heart wrenching, all-out string section howl of surrender, backing a doomed admission of abandoning all defenses.
A deliciously cheeky, immediate girl-power gym-anthem, Work It!, is a flashy, sassy, silk glove slap to all those macho peacocks out there.
BEHIND THE SCENES
A complete change of mood with Behind the Scenes, an introspective and seductive urban Romantic hymn;
The sneak peek ‘Phoenix’ revealing a poetic intermezzo and concludes in dramatic orchestra.
I AM HUMAN
The theme single, I Am Human, is an ample, breathtaking experience and a stirring call-to-arms for diversity and pluralistic acceptance.
Circles is a charged, rapturous confessional account of a frustrating and exhilarating relationship. Driven by a relentless Drum’N’Bass and laced with rich electronic tapestry it pushes forward to the breathless, inevitable clash and release.
Down to the feel good home-run, dance floor knockout, Hollywood Hills, an up-to-date glitzy nod to golden-age disco.
WE RISE, WE FALL
We Rise, We Fall is yet another snazzy pull-no-punches electronic gem – a candid and unguarded (if ever so funky and sleek) exposé acknowledging, one would say even embracing, the perilous, treacherous, excruciatingly pleasurable tightrope walking of relationships.
Just before retiring to expand the kaleidoscope further in the bonus tracks, the solemn mood returns in the devastating heartfelt ballad Oasis, which starts off in a desolated place but soon enough takes off with hope and spiritual sustenance, making way to a gorgeous, heartrending tidal wave of a string section that sweeps over, lifts you up and soars to swing open the doors of heaven or of love, or both.
ILSE risks spoiling us in the bonus tracks with a gratifying array of musical prowess:
Hollywood Hills (French Version)
Hollywood Hills (French Version) turns the voltage way up with crisp, techno-infused reverberating electronic throbs as the French Version produced by Sebastiaan Vandevoorde explores the glitzy side, while a robust bass riff is persistently teased by slinky guitars.
Behind the Scenes (Dawn Patrol version)
Behind the Scenes (Dawn Patrol Version) seems to have hit an experimental wormhole and drift into deep space, as the songs suits up in a chilly cybernetic armor constituted out of sheer binary dings and pings.
We Rise, We Fall (Acoustic Version)
We Rise, We Fall (Acoustic Version) trades the sensual funkiness for brittleness as it pierces our heart with a bewitching pondering and fragile piano.
I Am Human (World Version)
I Am Human (World Version) – Grammy winning producer Ricky Key dresses up the song with dreamy allures of flutes, chimes and harpsichords as ethnic sounds and mawwals dispatch a noteworthy global message.
You don’t know human, until you let yourself go and give in fully to the alluring charms of this affecting creation..