Review Summary: The sexiest tattooed world of warcraft playing girl from Canada. Lights create insanely catchy synth pop for those who like to rock. Warning: Leave your spiked shin guards, black t-shirts, and long hair back at the Hot Topic.
The mad scientist of brosylvania has returned to the music reviewing fold on April 6th 2009, the first full day of the baseball season, to deliver the goods to the underfed and boorish masses of sputnikmusic. This week I’m clocking in with a bright new artist from Canada named Valerie Poxleitner who operates under the pseudonym Lights. This good looking gal has doing quite well for herself in a relatively short span of three years. She’s already snatched up a few zazzy awards and produced three hit singles in her homeland not to mention having her songs used in television commercials. And to think this is all before she even released a debut full length record. She has however released a self titled six track E.P back in 2008. And this is where the magical, zazzy, and danceable dream pop journey begins.
Valerie Poxleitner falls under that pretty common yet rich and diverse female singer/ song-writer category in the vein of Vanessa Carlton, Taylor Swift, and Charlotte Sometimes albeit with a youthful and more delicate touch. She sings, plays the guitar, keyboards, and the keytar which is totally awesome. Reading an introspective on her, she named Bjork as one of her chief influences which is pretty cool in my books. Although nothing to do vocally, I might hear some imitative synthesizer beats reminiscent to Bjork but much more upbeat and dance club oriented. This EP is purely pop driven by infectious sing-a-long choruses and a drum machine swirling together with keyboards and simplistic yet effective guitar melodies. The songwriting approach is pretty standard compared to the rest of the ilk but Lights make up for the lack of unoriginality with positive lyrics, catchy beats and a thoroughly enjoyable listen. Vocally, her pipes aren’t necessarily the greatest because there are a few awkward moments where her voice tends to crack. Her high register can also be a bit much too handle at times, but her spunky personality and energetic delivery really kick up a storm. Kind of like the opening day Florida Marlins who are raking fastballs one after the other into the bleachers.
Ironically enough, the strongest songs on the album are the three hit singles Ice, Drive My Soul, and February Air which play out in 1-2-3 order. The second half of the EP seems to lack the same enthusiasm and upbeat charisma that the first possesses. The aspect that I find most attractive about Lights is the general atmosphere you can feel from her music. You can envision obnoxiously loud colors, spaceships, and futuristic get-ups when you take this out for a spin. The three music videos and her myspace layout do nothing but reinforce those elements. Overall, Lights has released a nifty little number in this self-titled ep that fans of female songwriters should adore. The catchiness, the hooks, and the choruses are all there so unless you’re one of those prog wanking Opeth/ Dream Theatre pile of sticks, this should be cranked to 7 immediately.