Lunik
Small Lights in the Dark


3.5
great

Review

by Trey Spencer STAFF
April 14th, 2010 | 65 replies | 12,171 views


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Lunik move away from the generic pop of their last few albums in favor of a more subtle and personal approach.

Around the time of Lunik’s fourth album, Preparing to Leave, something started to feel like it was missing. The most obvious response was to highlight the band’s removal of the electronics as the culprit and be done with it. At the time that answer seemed to make total sense, but it now appears to have been wrong. At the same time that the band was removing the electronics in favor of an upbeat pop direction, a more subtle transition was also taking place. As the pop took a stronger hold over the music, the emotional connection slowly suffered. It was a subtle transition that most probably missed, but Small Lights in the Dark highlights the issue clearly. It does so by replacing the sterile pop with some of the most solemn music and personal lyrics in the band’s career, and suddenly nothing feels like it’s missing anymore.

When asked about the lyrical concept, Jael stated that "...lights in the dark are a common sign of hope and I have realized to let go of my worries. Everything now just comes down to the songs themselves – they are my small lights.” Artists often embellish or exaggerate when speaking of their own works, but that description is actually very accurate. Small Lights in the Dark is a collection of songs about perseverance despite anything that could be wrong in your life. It’s a darker premise than fans might be used to, but it works. When Jael sings, “I’m used to my sadness / it’s always there like a cold embrace / At least it makes me feel alive / and it makes me feel safe / I know how to handle that / It’s my indifference that scares me to death,” it almost feels as if you’re intruding on her private thoughts. These types of very personal themes run throughout the entire album, and the emotions that are attached to them are a welcome return.

Musically, the band has adjusted to accommodate these solemn subjects by doing away with the upbeat tempos of the last few releases. The songs now range from slow ballads to moderately paced pop that alternates enough to keep the album from feeling lethargic. They’ve also reduced the role of the music in order to let the vocals take center stage. Most of the songs on this album are built around Jael’s voice with unobtrusive acoustic guitars, subtle percussion and delicate piano providing a suitable (if a bit inconspicuous) backdrop. This approach doesn’t allow for the instant hooks that the band are generally known for and it will take a few listens to become familiar with the songs, but it is worth the effort. Besides, it’s nice to hear Jael handle the increased workload with ease and it’s easy to hear why she is constantly asked to do guest vocals for other bands.

Over the course of the last few albums it seemed as if the band were losing their identity. They were slowly trading away their electronic and trip hop elements in favor of a vanilla form of pop. Worse, it seems that they were also losing their emotional element in the process. Small Lights in the Dark fixes a lot of those issues with its deeply personal lyrics and a fresh approach to the acoustic pop sound that they’ve fully embraced. The lack of electronics is finally a non-issue as the band seems to have finally found a niche that embraces their fondness for pop hooks while still delivering on the emotional element that had been missing for far too long.



Recent reviews by this author
Anathema Distant SatellitesFlotsam and Jetsam No Place for Disgrace - 2014
Mindcage Our Own DevicesFates Warning Darkness in a Different Light
Queensryche QueensrycheSkinny Puppy Weapon
user ratings (14)
Chart.
3.3
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Willie
Moderator
April 14th 2010



15876 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Here is the video for "People Hurt People". It's a little more upbeat than most of the album, but it's good (and she's pretty easy on the eyes…)

People Hurt People

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FTrUx0sHUto

I'd also suggest "Through Your Eyes" from my favorite album of theirs, Weather:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QPOmCR8Vk3g

and more Jael here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1gMxKBLftq4

Digging: Emperor - In The Nightside Eclipse - 20th Year Anniversary

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
April 14th 2010



30871 Comments


The lack of electronics is finally a non-issue

Speak for yourself man haha

Digging: FaltyDL - In The Wild

Willie
Moderator
April 14th 2010



15876 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Who else would I be speaking for ;) Have you heard these guys?

Ponton
Emeritus
April 14th 2010



5784 Comments


Can't seem to fix that track listing...

Good review. I have a punctuation question about this here: "that, ""...lights in the"

Not sure, but I think quotes after "that" do not need commas, right? It's not a big deal and not trying to be jerk-ish, but something I want to clear up for my own future writing. And double quote there too.

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
April 14th 2010



30871 Comments


Who else would I be speaking for ;) Have you heard these guys?

Yarp, they used to hold my attention but i'm becoming increasingly bored with them as of late

Willie
Moderator
April 14th 2010



15876 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I had to approve the track list change. It's done now. You're right about the punctuation thing. I originally had a different quote and then pasted the current one over it (that's my excuse for double quotes and the comma).

@Deviant: If you haven't heard their first three albums then you're not done yet.

Ponton
Emeritus
April 14th 2010



5784 Comments


Oh it's cool, gotcha. I had seen it both ways, so I wasn't sure.

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
April 14th 2010



30871 Comments


@Deviant: If you haven't heard their first three albums then you're not done yet.

I've heard them all man (reminds me, need to rate) and I really dug them when they were being all trip hoppy, but now they're just a bunch of pop rockers. Which is fine, just not my thing

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
April 14th 2010



20855 Comments


Solid review Trey. For a 3.5, I probably expected a line or two on the negatives (you only mention immediacy), but it still reads fine.

The way you explain the lyrics almost suggests a touch of folk-pop. Does the sound lean that way, or is it simply acoustic pop for the most part?

Willie
Moderator
April 14th 2010



15876 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah, I'm more partial to the three trip hoppy albums but I have to admit that I like the others too (especially this one).

I think the negatives on this are more implied than spelled out. The lack of immediate hooks would be one. I did forget to mention that "falling up" is a terrible song. Like I said, this was supposed to come out at the end of the month and then I found out yesterday that it was pushed up.

I'm not too up-to-date on my folk pop ;) I'd say that it's probably just acoustic pop.

Chomp
April 14th 2010



14 Comments


knew this was a willie review.

Willie
Moderator
April 14th 2010



15876 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Why? Because I've had the album cover as my avatar for about a month or because no one else from staff would ever touch this? Neither answer takes much investigative work.

Chomp
April 14th 2010



14 Comments


ding-ding ^

JizzInMyPants
April 15th 2010



2368 Comments


dang will are you like the only person who listens to this?

Willie
Moderator
April 15th 2010



15876 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

On this site, yes. I have what I call my "vanity" reviews (this band's reviews, In the Nursery, etc). I write them for me and the random people who find them through google because I know none of the regulars here actually listen to them.

Willie
Moderator
April 15th 2010



15876 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

You're toying with me.

Baphomet
April 15th 2010



7364 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Never heard of these guys, but I will check them out. If only cause they're Willie-endorsed.

Willie
Moderator
April 15th 2010



15876 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Cool. I appreciate it. I posted the link to their music video on my first comment (as well as a few other good videos of theirs… one is a guest spot on a Delerium song).

Willie
Moderator
April 15th 2010



15876 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Ha ha, yeah. That's why I posted a few videos in the first comment. People might let the songs finish if they can watch too ;)

Baphomet
April 15th 2010



7364 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

people hurt people is a tad generic, but enjoyable. If the whole album has the same feeling as this song it might be a 3-3.5 for me.



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2013 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy