Valerie Poxleitner, a.k.a. Lights, has a girlish lilt
like Gwen Stefani with weighty kicks emblematic of Lacuna
Coil's Cristina Scabbia. Lights' recent release The
Listening offers ambient synth tones with an ethereal-pop glare
reminiscent of The Wishing Tree, producing an album that has
the effect of assuaging ruffled emotions and calming the senses.
The songs remind me of a deep sea expedition in that every track
contains its own aquarium of specimens. The entire album is sealed
with a lounging fluidity as every song has its own distinct traits
and detailing. Looking at the title track, the melody has a dreamy,
chill-out tempo which shifts into a string of bubbly jolts across
"Ice" producing a wave of catchy dance beats. Some tracks
are soothing and reflective like "Pretend," contrasting
those numbers which induce action along the reams of jetting ripples
like "Loins!" The lyrics are personable and relatable
to ordinary lives like in "Pretend" when Poxleitner ponders,
"It would be nice to start over again / Before the world ends."
A majority of the album follows an easy listening model with a slight
electro-pop glint that isn't overpowering but tempered for mainstream
The Listening is a product of electro-pop's evolution coming
to a point where mainstream meets club-inspired pop. The calming flow
of the tracks have a folksy feel coated in electro-pop shimmers which
exude a modern dance look. Harking a modern chick-flix voicing,
The Listening is like a sedative injected into the senses with
lyrics that show an awareness of mistakes made while looking for a
way to heal the wounds.
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