Album Review: The Light Bright's - “The World’s A Changin’”

Review by Ira Henderson

You know that visceral tension you feel sometimes when listening to a soloist improvise live? You can actually feel the ideas crowding and bottle-necking in the musician’s brain and you can sense them wrestling to stay clean and in the rhythm. It feels dangerously delicate and precarious. You hear a misstep here, a stuttered squawk there, but you forgive because you know the performer is lurching through virgin territory on unsure footing. It’s by no means polished and far from perfect, but it’s endearing as hell. That’s sort of the feeling I get listening to The Light Brights’ album “The World’s A Changin’”.

My favorite moment is the opening of the first song, which is also the title track. It’s a bouncy, weaving rhythm incorporating bass, piano, drums and guitar, each doing something different. This is a great intro that sets a good tone for the whole album, which is a playful, eclectic little self-recorded (impressively so; the production quality is great) indie release. There are several fun moments throughout. These guys aren’t afraid to mess around and experiment, which leads to a few unexpected musical diamonds in the rough. There are several nice bass lines on the album, and some good rhythms that range from jazz to country to military march. The vocals are solid without being too refined. There are echoes of the Cranberries’ warble, the bounce of Regina Spektor and Michelle Shocked’s down-hominess. The whole album is a little all-over-the-place, but this band is best when they play playfully.

However, there are, as I have said, a few stumbles and squawks here and there. The Light Brights are a talented trio of musicians, but they ought not to rock, at least not on this album. There are a few times, like on the second track, “Waiting For the Truth”, when the singer starts to yell “Hey!”, the bass falls in line behind the chunky guitar and the drums thump away in a rock rhythm. The problem is that they don’t have the power to pull it off and it’s an awkward juxtaposition to the rest of their more complex arrangements. There is an awkward drum solo on “Shine a Little Light”. The rhythm gets lost and it sounds like the drummer (who is really solid on the rest of the album) is just whacking as many things as he can as fast as he can. On the track “Distract Myself”, the singer keeps trying to squeeze both syllables of “distract” into one beat, which is distracting.

Where most of the problems come, though, is in the lyrics. There are a few clever turns of phrase (“Sleep away my dreams” caught my ear), but overall there are fewer catchy lines than there are awkward or clichéd ones. However much I sympathise with the general concepts behind most of these songs, there is too little subtlety in the writing. I just can’t bring myself to sing along.

So, yeah. The Light Brights. “The World’s A Changin’”. Good album. Not so much a great one, but definitely worth a listen. It’s got a few problems but, for a first album written on the fly in a basement home-studio, is fairly impressive.

You can get your hands on the album at The Light Bright's bandcamp for a low $9.00!
Check it out!


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