Review Summary: Calming, exquisite and moving towards the right direction.
It's been three years since Lights released her last album, and what a worthwhile anticipation this has been. Siberia battled between electro grit and synth pop, while Little Machines takes a turn around, as it finds itself conforming new wave grounds. I'm happy that she decided to go for a softer edge to her synth-fueled power-pop ballads. While the title track ‘Portal’ starts the album off a little slow, it is clear that Valerie Poxleitner has grown up and found a happy medium between old and new albums.
This album speaks to me on many different levels. I don't know if it's the stressful semester I had last year, but Little Machines is an album that couldn't have come at a more perfect time. From switching dorm buildings, to entirely new roommates I was ready to start year twenty of my life differently. 'Running With the Boys' had me reminiscing The Cure and other 80's pop rock that incorporated live guitar. Like my transition in college, I don't believe Lights is afraid of change either. It may be the fact that she just had her first kid, but nevertheless her change in sound seems convenient for herself.
In her song 'Speeding' she sings, "The world in the rear view mirror doesn't shake me, I haven't looked back there lately". I see this is as a foundation to what the future holds for Lights. Like old sings, she accepts that Little Machines sounds a little different. The choruses are a bit bigger; the synth such as in ‘meteorites’ is a little calmer, and the overall feel of the album is all the more soothing.
It’s not often I play an album more than 90 times in it’s first week of purchase, but this one hit every emotion of mine just right. Lights can’t be any more forward than ‘Don’t Go Home Without Me’ as she sings to her husband “This is the song I will sing to you when you're old and tired”. Little Machines isn’t just about moving forward; it’s about discovering life and clinging closely to what is already important.