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Press Reviews from Theory of Your Life

Apr 16, 2024

Past Reviews

Brad Wheeler, Globe & Mail

"Since you ask, the theory of Ian North's life is that dying is easy, and comedy is hard. A sardonic quip on an absorbing disc, from the mouth of a Toronto troubadour who is both a skeptical singer-songwriter and a colourful tale-weaver. Don't believe him when he says that predictions are easy either. The future holds tricks: for a celebrity safe-swiper on the Ballad of Stephen Reid, and for a journeyman on the elegiac Leaving Buffalo. Ain't nothing as simple as it seems -- that is North's true best guess."


Exclaim Magazine

"Toronto songwriter Ian North’s inviting voice draws the listener in to his intricate narratives, which spin tales ranging from the mundane to the madcap. But from bank robberies in Vancouver to fistfights in a Buffalo trailer park, North keeps things on a remarkably even keel. Blending elements of country, folk, blues and jazz, North muses on the meaning of life, which ends up sounding a lot like home no matter where you’re from. With friends like Bob Wiseman on accordion, Paul Mathew from the Hidden Cameras on bass and cellist Don Kerr from the Rheostatics backing him up, the musicianship on Theory of Your Life is flawless. Subtle melodies combined with lyrics that deal with the frailties at the heart of humanity, make this a pleasurable follow-up to North’s 2002 debut."


Greg Quill, The Toronto Star

"Unusually vivid first-person narratives, both confessional and pure confection, are probably his strongest suit, but Toronto songwriter Ian North - born and raised in Ottawa - has spent several years in Vancouver - also has a strong and distinctive voice, and a penchant for clever chord changes that keep his odd melodies in a state of ungrounded suspension somewhere between acoustic pop and jazzy folk.  With little more than acoustic guitars, an occasional piano, dobro, cello or accordion, drums, bass and the odd vocal harmony, North creates a richly musical context for his complex yarns ("The Ballad of Stephen Reid" is typical) and ruminations ("Leaving Buffalo," outstanding) on this, his second independent CD."  ***


Maverick Magazine, UK

“Great collection of tunes from a very fine songwriter – a very strong CD that demands to be listened to”.


Guitarist Magazine, UK

"the tongue-twisting savvy in the lyrics of "Mighty Fall" would make Dylan proud, and decent backup and unfussy production help deliver the goods throughout.”


Rachel Sanders, Exclaim Magazine

"Toronto songwriter Ian North’s inviting voice draws the listener in to his intricate narratives, which spin tales ranging from the mundane to the madcap.…the musicianship on Theory of Your Life is flawless.”


Kerry Doole, Tandem

“The folk-rooted disc features such ace players as DON KERR, MICHAEL JOHNSTON and BOB WISEMAN, but North's eloquent songs and expressive voice are its core.” 


Jessica Shulist, The Spill Magazine

“Ian North reminds me of home – the countryside, up north, closer to heaven and a lot further from distraction.”

Americana UK

“North’s clear clean vocals stay with you, as do his songs.  He’s touring the UK in October & on the evidence here he’ll be worth catching”. 


NetRhythms, UK

“Theory Or Your Life” is a comforting reassurance that the true songwriter still flourishes – A rare pleasure”. 


Country Music Round-Up, UK

“The songs are superb & the performances first class.”


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