Canadian singer-songwriter Lights’ debut album, “The Listening,” brings her hit singles “Drive My Soul” and “February Air”, along with her other quirky synthpop songs to our ears.
I don’t really care for the genre, because I tend to think that singer-songwriter albums are something I would decide to buy while waiting in line at Starbucks. I like synthpop or music that use synthesizers even less. However, despite what I find to be repetitive electronic music, Lights’ lyrics and vocals are amazing. She has the ability to sing with the sincerity of a child, as well as the experience of a young woman.
In songs like “Savior” and “Drive my Soul” she shows vulnerability even as she proclaims, “I need a savior” or laments, “Where there’s no borders, there are no lines, how can I know where to turn?” She states Bjork is a influence, but her vocal work, and even her music is more straight forward and catchy.
The lyrics to “Pretend” demonstrates her ability to juggle a childlike perspective in her lyrics and maintain an understanding of how we grow up, and can never fully see the world completely like that again. She sings, “Remember the time we had soda for wine, and we got by on gratitude,” which amazed me; this image of children drinking soda, pretending to be adults. It’s juxtaposed with the chorus in which she sings, “It would be nice to start over again, before we were men … let’s play pretend,” which provides the contrast of us in our later years longing to be childish again.
Overall, I’d say it’s an easy listening album; the lyrics are well written, Lights is very talented, and if the songs are very relatable. “Pretend” and “Savior” are definite iTunes downloads.