Though the wider Australian public may remain utterly ignorant to the talents of UK singer songwriter Rod Thomas (aka Bright Light Bright Light), here at auspOp, we’re champions.
So where else in Australia would you be reading a review of his just-released new album ‘Choreography’? Right here, of course. Over to our reviewer David…
I was born in the late ’80s which means I missed a lot of the trends, including the pop music, that were so prevalent during that decade.
Luckily for me, my mum was a big fan of the music well into the ’90s, so I still got to experience the Eurythmics, Pat Benatar and Cyndi Lauper.
As I grew up, I discovered some of the classic movies from that era like ‘The Breakfast Club’, ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off’ and ‘Sixteen Candles’, not to mention their iconic soundtracks. I fell in love with the high drama, heavy synths and catchy melodies.
But enough about my love of the ’80s… what has that got to do with Bright Light Bright Light?
Well ‘Choreography’ is VERY heavily influenced by the ’80s. If you thought Carly Rae Jepsen’s last album was an ’80s love fest, it’s got nothing on this album.
It feels like singer Rod Thomas was transported back to 1984, wrote this album (with the intention on having every song included in some classic ’80s film) and brought it back to 2016 for our listening pleasure. And this is a good thing.
‘Choreography’ tells a beautiful sonic story from beginning to end and its this euphoric homage to the ’80s that really makes the album shine.
The vast layering of music coupled with Rod’s vocals creates some very special moments and the guests that feature (long time mentor Elton John features multiple times) adds to the likability of the tracks.
It’s also nice to see half of the Scissor Sisters feature (Jake Shears, Ana Matronic) appear on a couple of songs since the pop world has been deprived of their presence.
What I have really fallen in love with on this album, however, is all the gorgeous harmonies that feature across every song; they add an immense lushness and grandeur to the songs, which I love.
Now you may wonder, which label has piled bucket loads of cash into this project to make it so amazing? None, it would seem.
Independent releases no longer are dodgy back door dealings and I have to say I am incredibly impressed by the production value, writing and finesse demonstrated here.
Looking at my favourite albums so far this year, the majority have been through independent releases. And ‘Choreography’ has already etched itself in my list of favourites.
My only real complaint (and it’s minor) is that the album borders into the realm of being too glossy. While there is some diversity within the tracks, it might have done with a couple more low-key or acoustic tracks to balance things out.
The late album change that ‘Home’ (featuring Alan Cumming) brings falls flat for me, but is the only real misstep in a fantastic set of songs which I can’t really fault him for.
For fans of pop music, electronic music or the ’80s, this is an enjoyable album to explore.
If you haven’t checked out Bright Light Bright Light before, now is the time.
VERDICT : 5/5.
MUST LISTEN : Symmetry Of Two Hearts, Running Back To You, Kiss For Kiss, Into The Night, Little Bit, Where Is The Heartache.