“Automatic” sounds like the soundtrack to a day spent relaxing on an island paradise. The only issue is that’s what most reggae albums sound like.
The topics these songs cover are typical of reggae rock. “One Way Track” is a song about love, “Back Around” is about a girl the singer misses, and the title-track “Automatic” is about playing music.
There are a few tracks when this band is able to stand out from other reggae rock artists. Tracks like “Show Me” and “Milk and Honey” have a bluesy sound that stands out among the repetitive rhythms of the other tracks on this album.
Those songs were put together by guest producer Lincoln Parish of Cage the Elephant, who seems to be responsible for most of the creativity on this album.
Despite the shortcomings in songwriting, this album did have impressive production. Guitar effects and vocal filters make this album worth listening to even though it lacks originality.
One of the most notable production elements is the use of phaser effects, like near the beginning of the track “Splintered Heart” and on the bridge of “Undertow.”
IRATION has the potential to be as famous reggae bands like Sublime or Pepper, the band just needs to put forward efforts with more originality.
If you’re a fan of reggae, or want something to listen to while you’re at the beach, then you may want to pick this album up. Just don’t expect it to change the way you listen to music, or even the way you listen to reggae.