The Listening (Bonus Track Version)
Sweet and shimmering, the music of Canadian singer/songwriter Lights (a.k.a. Valerie Poxleitner) goes down easy and leaves a tingling aftertaste. The Listening, her 2009 debut album, has the intimate feel of a bedroom reverie. Lights’ spiritually tinged lyrics return again and again to the theme of divine comfort and aid — songs like “Saviour,” “Drive My Soul” and “Second Go” are upwardly directed expressions set to throbbing, high-gloss tracks. “February Air” and “Quiet” are more explicitly romantic, lending an appealing innocence by Lights’ breathy, waif-like vocals. Throughout, The Listening revels in vintage and modern synthesizer textures, switching between jittery techno-dance tunes (“Ice,”“River”) and atmospheric (though still beat-driven) soundscapes (“Face Up,” the title song). Whether she’s confronting her fears in “Lions!” or yearning for lost childhood in “Pretend,” Lights wraps her gossamer sonic threads around serious topics. Though her touch is frequently soft, she’s capable of flashes of intensity, as “The Last Thing On Youe Mind” shows.