Album Review: The Listening by Lights

Posted: May 25, 2010 in Album Reviews, The Music Reviews

Canadian singer-songwriter Valerie Anne Poxleitner or Lights Poxleitner, more known by her stage name LIGHTS, tries to convince people who have not heard her material that she is the real deal with her debut album entitled The Listening. The 13-track-long LP consistently utilizes Lights’ ability to play the synths in grand fashion.

All the tracks in the LP make use of Lights’ sweet and melodic vocals accompanied by the ever-reliable keyboards, lovely rhythms, catchy beats, and lyrics that have loads of sense in them. The tracks do showcase the musicality (versatility included) that this bubbly singer-songwriter has.

There is no denying that the tracks in the LP are outstanding on their own merit. They all have their respective catchy hooks included. Are there album fillers though? I am happy to say that there is no filler track in this effort. All tracks are contagious though some of the tracks do have their blemishes.

Saviour sets the tone for the album with a very pulsating beat that soothes the senses. The keyboard-led track has auto-tuning in it but all ends well since the vocal manipulation works perfectly in the track. Drive My Soul, meanwhile, slows the pace down and gives off that smooth vibe.

River is one of the haymakers that this album has. The quality of the track is simply superb and the track is without a doubt one of the best in the LP. The title track, The Listening, has a chorus that shines continuously even if put on loop. Ice has a Kylie Minoque-esque vibe in it. Actually, it is one of the more upbeat offerings in the LP which allows it to distance itself from the other offerings which may sound too similar for one’s liking.

Pretend has two versions included in the LP with the first one using the synths and the second one relying on an acoustic vibe. The first version is more preferable in my book though the second one is also likable. It all depends on one’s cup of tea.

February Air has this sound which may give one thoughts of those classic videogame instrumentals. Catchy, it actually is. The simple yet remarkable song structure gives the song some much-valued punch. Lions! uses the conventional formula that Lights uses all throughout the LP. That is rely on some creative arrangement and sweet vocals. It works but it does bring up a point regarding the LP’s imperfections.

Some tracks may sound too similar for some. However, there will always be that one song which one will love to listen continuously over and over again. I also suggest that listen to the album on shuffle to counter the ‘sameness’ that some tracks have. Listening to the LP in order just does not do it right.

Do I like the LP though? Yes, I really do. All the songs have simple yet remarkable structures embedded in them. The vocals from Lights are exceptional. All the arrangements used are clever and well-thought. However, The Listening is far from being a perfect record but if you are a fan of well-done pop material, do check this offering out. You’ll get your money’s worth. Trust me.

Best Track: Saviour
Other Recommended Tracks: Drive My SoulIceRiver, and February Air
Genre: Pop
Date Released: May 17, 2010
Label: Underground Operations


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