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Jim Ivins Band, The - Songs of Life: The Kathy Ivins... Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 8.75
Musicianship 8.75
Lyrics 8
Production 8.75
Creativity 7.75
Lasting Value 7.75
Reviewer Tilt 8.25
Final Verdict: 83%
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Jim Ivins Band, The - Songs of Life: The Kathy Ivins...

Reviewed by: cavanaughpark09 (04/04/11)
Jim Ivins Band, The - Songs of Life: The Kathy Ivins Project
Record Label: Unsigned
Release Date: November 26, 2010

The Jim Ivins Band send out a message of hope and living life to the fullest with their new EP. Songs of Life: The Kathy Ivins Project provides three new songs (among a range of other artists) that fans of their past work will undoubtedly enjoy. Recorded with Bill Leverty of ‘90s rock band Firehouse, the EP is a testament to the memory of Kathy Ivins, mother of Jim and Jack, the band’s singer and drummer respectively, who passed away over the summer from melanoma. Although the listener might expect a sad record the band maintain an ever-upbeat attitude.

“Moving,” the first song, picks up where 2009’s Self Titled EP left off, with the Richmond-based band’s acoustic sound, a similar style to the first song of that release. The songs encourages the listener to think individually and in the first verse “when today is every day, we can’t be afraid to look mistakes in the face.” If there was any doubt that this EP would encourage living life to the fullest it is erased by this song. It pulls together regrets and looking to the future and the present in a way that is extremely hopeful.

“You Can Have It All” only serves to emphasize the message, with lyrics like “this is our moment, don’t be swallowed by tomorrow” and “you can have it all, no one ever made it waiting for a call.” As the child of a cancer survivor I can certainly relate to the sentiment. You never know what’s going to happen so grabbing opportunities when they are presented to you is essential.

The final song was originally released on a solo EP by Ivins, and is really the gem of the album. “Stages of Your Life” traces not only through the seasons, but also from childhood, to teenaged years, to early adulthood with nothing more than a few lines that evoke images that any young person can relate to. Ivins manages to show both knowledge gained from these experiences, and also the wish that he could go back to easier times, a feeling any young adult can share.

Overall the EP’s message is to embrace the life you have and take chances to do what you want. Each of the songs has a different feel and goal but they all manage to leave the listener with a good feeling. Proceeds from the album are all going to the newly established Kathy Ivins Fund which aims to promote fitness and wellness groups which were causes close to her. The Virginia four-piece easily do her proud with such an uplifting release that listeners will enjoy.

Recommended If You LikeThe Fray, Mae, Jack’s Mannequin, acoustic rock

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