Lights
PEP


3.5
great

Review

by Get Low USER (67 Reviews)
June 5th, 2022 | 18 replies


Release Date: 2022 | Tracklist

Review Summary: another Lights album

In the time since Lights released her 2017 album Skin&Earth with an accompanying graphic novel, written and illustrated entirely by her, she decided to step away from larger projects in favor of less intense endeavors. In the few years that followed, she collaborated with many different EDM producers to release a plethora of singles and EPs, as well as creating the formerly-anonymous "gothbounce" project Lun, and releasing a chillwave mixtape on her Bandcamp profile. With all of the time she spent dipping her toes into other styles of music, I was left wondering if Lights' next proper album would see any sort of drastic change from her tried-and-true brand of electropop. It turns out that my worries were for not, because PEP is very much a return to form for Lights; and for better or for worse, depending on if one is a fan of her previous albums or not, she has essentially picked up where she left off on Skin&Earth.

If one has never heard any of Lights' music before, the basic description that fits what she has been doing since her first album The Listening is that she sings cute songs over self-produced electronic beats. There is usually at least one over-arching theme or distinction preventing critics from claiming that she has been making the same album over and over again, and for PEP, I would say that the goal was, as the title implies, to invoke feelings of liveliness and spirit. I believe that overall she succeeded, because PEP contains some of her most fun and lighthearted songs to date; but this self-contained pep rally is sandwiched between an opening track and two final songs which are gloomy, and openly express feelings of self-doubt. If I were to take a swing at why Lights formatted PEP in this way, I would guess that she was trying to convey that her feelings of contentment and cheerfulness always eventually end up being pervaded by stress and sorrow, which is a true and relatable cycle of human emotion.

There is one reoccurring topic on PEP that begs mentioning, which is money. The concept of money plays a key role in three songs: Money in the Bag, which narrates a store or bank robbery from the perspective of what I imagine as Lights herself in a cowgirl getup; Rent, which uses money metaphorically as a means for Lights to "evict" someone who has been on her mind (If you wanna to live in my head, you gotta pay the expenses / and honey, you can't afford what the rent is), and Easy Money, which tells the story of a relationship where the girl is the one with the money, and insists that the boy doesn't have to worry about spending any of his own, as long as he spends his time with her. I would imagine that Lights, who has been able to make a career as a musician, is not strapped for cash; however, money was clearly in the forefront of her mind during the creation of this album. If I were to take a guess, with the lyrics to Easy Money as my main source of evidence, I would say that Lights' husband, Beau Bokan of the once-popular-but-basically-dead-at-this-point metalcore band Blessthefall, has probably not been reeling in the dough like he used to.

After getting my hands on a trade paperback version of Lights' Skin&Earth comic roughly a year after the release of its eponymous album, I hoped that Lights would simply release Skin&Earth 2 next, with the ending of the comic insinuating that there may be more to come, and with the album itself being my second favorite of hers after her debut. But now that PEP has been released, I'm glad that that didn't end up being the case. PEP is everything one would expect it to be from reading the title and seeing the bright, primary-colored art – which is a fun, quirky, and uplifting album. Lights needed another one of these in her discography, because the playfulness with which she began her career with on The Listening had since started to wane in favor of more serious topics. I think fun is always going to be the common denominator for all of Lights' music past and future, and I'm glad that she decided to embrace it once more here.



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user ratings (37)
2.8
good


Comments:Add a Comment 
Get Low
June 5th 2022


14381 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

rules

Purpl3Spartan
June 6th 2022


8775 Comments


Nice

FR33L0RD
June 6th 2022


6400 Comments


great artist

Tundra
June 6th 2022


9858 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Skin and Earth better

Get Low
June 6th 2022


14381 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

it's close

Feather
June 6th 2022


10291 Comments


didn't bother checking this out because frankly I have just been progressively losing interest in Lights since Siberia which I still think was her strongest release. Maybe I will give it a try.

Get Low
June 7th 2022


14381 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

No one cares about Lights anymore except her diehard fans, such as myself. Her popularity has definitely waned.

Tundra
June 7th 2022


9858 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Well she does have 1.5 mil listeners on spotify lol, pretty respectable numbers

Get Low
June 7th 2022


14381 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

1.4 mil of those being stray listeners who came across one song on a random playlist they were half paying attention to while cleaning their studio apartment

Purpl3Spartan
June 7th 2022


8775 Comments


Is she still with Beau Bokan

Get Low
June 7th 2022


14381 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

yes

Get Low
October 19th 2022


14381 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

She's still relatively popular yeah

vult
October 19th 2022


2393 Comments


I like lights still I jammed The Listening the other day

Get Low
October 19th 2022


14381 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

The Listening is my favorite, that album is a gem

vult
October 19th 2022


2393 Comments


I slightly prefer Siberia but The Listening has so much more heart.

Also there are quite a few World of Warcraft references on there

Butkuiss
April 23rd 2024


7329 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Ngl I just spun dEd and kinda prefer it; even if it’s sonic palette is much more generic than this one.

Digging: Roy Ayers - Everybody Loves the Sunshine

Tundra
April 23rd 2024


9858 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Yep it's great

Butkuiss
April 23rd 2024


7329 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Oh no does this mean I agree with tundra 😳



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