That Canadian synth pop singer you may know as Lights, who was definitely your (my) guilty pleasure at one time or another is all grown up. After what seems like a long two-year gap between albums, Lights has reemerged from her poppy album “The Listening” with a new direction, and it’s surprisingly good. Take a lot of synths, a bit of indie pop, some new wave vibes and even some dubstep elements. If you cook it just right, you get “Siberia.”
The first single off the album, “Toes,” shows the difference between the two records rather well. No more incredibly upbeat singles, as Lights takes a more subdued attitude with this one. Don’t get me wrong, as the usual Lights elements are all throughout the album. Synths are the main focus of each song here, and her voice reminds you that you’re definitely listening to Lights. The bass really pounds in “Flux and Flow,” along with a guest spot from hip-hop artist Shad, giving this track an incredibly powerful beat. There’s so much more emotion behind this track, with Lights howling out lyrics during the chorus.
The opening title track is also another one you should pay attention to. “Siberia” has such a fun vibe, and a beat that you might hear in some electro ambient tracks. And what about those dubstep influences I mentioned? Check out the end of “Suspension” and you’ll hear some lighthearted “wubbing” you wouldn’t typically see in synth pop. I find it to be a welcome addition, and even find the nine minute instrumental entitled “Day One” rather pleasant – and I hate instrumentals.
There’s not an overload of synths that would usually turn off a lot of listeners. The mix of instruments is much more balanced, her vocals are stellar without using too much of a vocoder effect, and Lights has seriously stepped up her game in general. As a result, I don’t think she needs to be your (my) guilty pleasure anymore. Give this one a spin, and tell me why you can’t love this blissful work of art.