Last week, emerging artist Ilana Armida released her debut EP, Iridescent Flower Child, and it’s a delightfully funky R&B affair. Having previously studied at Florida Atlantic University’s Commercial Music Business Program, Armida worked on this EP with her fellow alumni and friends. The result is a thoroughly enjoyable EP, one that makes you feel like Armida is your friend too — or at the very least, someone you’d want to be friends with.
Armida opens Iridescent Flower Child with the breathy “This Feeling,” a moody intro track that has an abundance of R&B feels. Something about it gives me a Britney Spears Glory vibe, so for a fairly simple track, it’s very good. “Sweet Freedom” has an infectious rhythm and flow. Once again, Armida’s vocals are on point, and she carries the piano-driven track. Armida proves that less can be more with a pop song, and the simple production lets her vocals shine.
On the bridge of “Sweet Freedom”, Armida’s emotions are palpable, and she truly sounds liberated from the relationship that was holding her back.
With “Pretend,” tones of Danity Kane slither through. Somehow, Armida manages to handle this track better than Danity Kane probably could back when they were a five piece in all their glory. This is a soulful and groovy track that proves Armida has star potential, and her eager vocals show she won’t be stopping anytime soon.
Iridescent Flower Child keeps to its R&B roots with a Ciara-esque interlude. Like the intro track, it’s a pretty hollow piece of filler, but nonetheless, it’s some nice noise that transitions the album to its second half. The first of these tracks is “Dreams,” and once again, Armida’s vocals are the shining piece here. As she sings about trying to get over a lover that haunts her in her dreams, she’s armed with a piano and her voice.
Things take a turn for the dance floor with “You Got What I Want,” and there’s an electronic thumping beat that pulses through the song as Armida’s lyrics get sultrier than ever. “Catch my vibe when you come inside, you’ll know just what to do,” Armida purrs. This track proves that while Armida’s got the talent to lead a simple production, she can also bring a crowd to the dance floor like the pop chart-toppers. The song’s breakdown and bridge sound like they were lifted off Janet Jackson’s “Nasty.” That alone should be enough to sell you.
Iridescent Flower Child comes to a close with “Still Down For You.” This song is a bit more cookie cutter and doesn’t reach the highs of the rest of the EP, but it still has a quality to it that fits nicely with the rest and doesn’t feel out of place. Armida’s lyrics are still emotional and powerful. To discount this song as being somewhat less perfect than the others is really splitting hairs. With an EP this good, it’s hard to find something to say that isn’t entirely glowing.