Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Album Review: "Life Is Easy" by Bright Light Bright Light

I'm just gonna go ahead and say that I have a major crush on Rod Thomas, the Welsh electronic singer-songwriter who performs under the moniker Bright Light Bright Light. One listen to his single "Waiting For The Feeling" and I was hooked. It's rare for a male pop singer to be so vulnerable and go for a Little Boots-esque electropop sound, but BLBL pulls it off spectacularly and his debut in 2012 Make Me Believe In Hope was one of the best albums of the year. Plus, if you aren't into the whole sensitive and intelligent type with a beautiful voice (you're crazy clearly), he's rather attractive physically as well, as this photo clearly indicates. Luckily for us, he's back with his second album this year that manages to surpass all expectations.

Life Is Easy is Rod's second foray into creating a modern sound that mixes the disco sound of the late 80's with pulsing house music. If his last album steered towards the former influence, this second album is a hard-hitting testament to dance. Though the production is extremely reminiscent of Pet Shop Boys classics, Rod can take full credit for the writing and production on this record. And really, he's outdone himself this time.

The album begins much like Make Me Believe In Hope with "Everything I Ever Wanted" displaying Bright Light Bright Light's soft murmurs atop a quiet yet pulsing sound, telling a story of lost love where Rod's righteousness is in the spotlight. Continuing to chronicle his heartbreak in song, Rod Thomas manages to make bittersweet memories sound magical, especially with tracks like "There Are No Miracles" and "Good Luck" propelling into your head on some of the catchiest pop hooks of the year. 

The first single to be taken from the album is highlight "I Believe" whose ambitious production makes it the most infectious track on the album and a real contender to bring Bright Light Bright Light toward mainstream success. Over his howls of "I don't know what you've done to me", Rod takes his spot as the closest we might get to a male counterpart of Kylie Minogue. The positivity continues as "Lust for Life" and "More Than Most" show BLBL trying to seek out the love that he knows has to exist, which gives us all hope that we might find it too.

If there was anymore proof of his talent, Rod Thomas also caught the eye of fellow homosexual pop hitmaker Elton John. Their collaboration "I Wish We Were Leaving" has to be one of the most earnest pieces of music to discuss unrequited love. Though Thomas's balladry sets him up for massive pop moments since his debut, upbeat electronica suits him just as well. "In Your Care"'s beautiful sensitivity has a great dichotomy with the crystalline "Too Much", whose bridge and 3rd chorus clinch the deal on making this one of the best albums of the year.

Much like Next Big Thing recipient Ronika, Bright Light Bright Light is the best kind of popstar, as he loves pop music just as much as we do. Thankfully so, this makes him understand the right lovelorn lyrics, the right electronic production, and overall pleasant persona can make all the difference. Combine that with his natural talent at songwriting and producing and you will fall as much in love with his album as you will with his whole aura. Life Is Easy is a major moment in music at this time and every track really deserves a listen, as I have been doing everyday since it came out.

Best Listened To: On a long train ride to get away from a long lost lover
Standout Tracks: "I Believe" "Too Much" "There Are No Miracles" "In Your Care"

NSOTPop Rating: 10/10

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