ALBUM: Lights – The Listening

Release Date: May 17th, 2010
Label: Universal


Canadian singer Lights is a big deal in her homeland, the pint-sized musician – who legally changed her name from Valerie to Lights last year – has won numerous awards for her quirky sound. This side of the Atlantic however the singer is relatively unknown, but with the release of her debut album ‘The Listening’ finally coming to our shores months after Canada and the US, this is likely to change.

Lights‘ vocals are so distinct and memorable on this record that tracks off this album wouldn’t go amiss in the UK charts. The synthpop singer has an extremely high vocal range, which in places leaves you awestruck. Opening tune ‘Saviour’ and the album’s title track are both great examples of this. The songs are full of electro-pop goodness and perfectly placed vocals, and both of these tracks would go down really well with adolescents everywhere.

The 23-year-old appears to have a knack for songwriting too, songs such as ‘Face Up’ and ‘Ice’ are full of witty lyrics. In the latter, Lights uses a metaphor to describe her inability to face up to awkward situations, “My mouth is frozen so I can’t even speak / What a disappointment I had it perfectly / What I was going to bring up suddenly / Stood like a stone as you stood quietly / You’re making it hard for me, all I can do is freeze”.

The juxtaposition of heavy and in places gloomy lyrics with fast-paced and upbeat music seems to be the perfect combination. Upon listening to the record it becomes easy to see why Lights has won so many awards. The 13 tracks make for light listening and will most likely have you dancing around your room with a hairbrush at the ready to sing-a-long to the almighty choruses… oh wait, that might just be me. In all seriousness though, this is a pretty solid record, and Lights will undoubtedly make a name for herself in the UK with ‘The Listening’. The only downfall for me on this album is that sometimes the vocals are a little too whiney and repetitive for my liking, making one straight listen in its entirety a challenge.

But, if you love cheesy 90’s pop or anything that artists such as Owl City or 3OH!3 have released then this record is for you. This feel-good album might not top the charts, but will definitely get Lights recognition for her work.

Written by Kate Rees