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LIGHTS - The Listening (Cover Artwork)

LIGHTS

LIGHTS: The ListeningThe Listening (2009)
Underground Operations

Reviewer Rating: 1.5
User Rating:


Contributed by: SloaneDaleySloaneDaley
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Listening to Valerie Poxleitner's creative vehicle, LIGHTS, I can't help but feel a little bit swindled. Somehow, some way, she has been associated with the underground music scene, even being featured on Silverstein's last album. Yet, actually hearing The Listening coming through my speakers, I cou.
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Listening to Valerie Poxleitner's creative vehicle, LIGHTS, I can't help but feel a little bit swindled. Somehow, some way, she has been associated with the underground music scene, even being featured on Silverstein's last album. Yet, actually hearing The Listening coming through my speakers, I couldn't begin to tell you why such an association is made. If hardcore in the punk context means "music by people like us" this is definitely music by "them." This is vacuous and disposable pop that offends the ears at every chance; I feel like I have to take a shower in acid-spitting bees with chainsaw teeth in order to remove its stench from my existence. This isn't bad because it is pop music, though -- it is bad because it is pure drudgery to listen to.

Single and album opener "Saviour" is one of the slightly less offensive moments on the album, in that it is catchy in a kind of high-tech Taylor Swift sort of way with its simple bleepy and bloopy electronics. Anyone remember Billy Idol's album Cyberpunk? No? I didn't think so. Songs like "Drive My Soul" and "The Listening" are down-tempo numbers that rely too heavily on Poxleitner's vocals and without memorable vocal melodies or hooks, they become absolutely coma-inducing.

Listening to the upbeat "River," which has a slight '80s bent like something Modern English may have done, I get the feeling like it isn't the actual songwriting that makes the majority of this album so bad, but the execution. Some of the synth tones used on The Listening get thrown into parts where they have absolutely no business being. Take, for instance, halfway through "The Last Thing on Your Mind," when this piercing tone comes ripping through an otherwise trippy little diddy. "Ice" starts off sounding like a half-decent Postal Service ripoff but the chorus turns into a cacophony of sounds that assaults the senses. I think LIGHTS needs a better producer to help edit out these annoying kinks.

I've read a lot of praise for the vocal ability of Poxleitner, but to be quite honest there isn't anything that distinguishes her from hundreds of other American Idol wannabes, and her lyricism leaves something to be desired. She isn't a bad vocalist by any means, but she isn't good enough to carry an album, which is the role The Listening seems to want to place her in.

If you want some good electronic pop I suggest checking out the latest Sounds album released this year for a vocalist that can really command your attention with instrumentation that is equally engaging. The Listening will just bore you to tears -- that is, unless you have absolutely no interest in music.

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
nick_s (June 19, 2010)

"I have to take a shower in acid-spitting bees with chainsaw teeth in order to remove its stench from my existence."

Good review and that was a great line. Such a terrible album.

givemeamuseumandillfillit (November 16, 2009)

Well, she definently gets recognition, so it is essentially just a vehicle to get her looks out there.

wallofyouth (November 16, 2009)

well... everyone has the right to TRY to be an artist, but not everyone deserves to be recognized for it

givemeamuseumandillfillit (November 16, 2009)

She has no business trying to be an artist. Yes she's very, very good looking but that's what modelling contracts are for.

bytheslice (November 15, 2009)

Well written review. I'm glad it didn't degenerate into a "I hate anything remotely pop" attack.

mattramone (November 14, 2009)

Would it be possible to make a function where we give stuff a negative rating or can at least officially rate it a 0?

XHenkkaX (November 14, 2009)

More Auto-Tune? Yes please.

mark-eh (November 14, 2009)

She sings like a baby, and it bugs the hell out of me

SurfingTurf (November 14, 2009)

ehh... i tried to give her a chance but it's really not my thing. maybe my little sister would like her.

12xu (November 13, 2009)

Oh, good, I fucked that up.

Roxy Epoxy eats wimps like this for breakfast.

12xu (November 13, 2009)

WRT Electronic Pop:

Lights

SydBarrett420 (November 13, 2009)

Really enjoyed "Ice" from the EP, everything since then not so much

Josiah (November 13, 2009)

I actually quite enjoy when Lights breaks out the acoustic versions of a lot of these songs. I am not as big a fan of the album versions. Her EP seemed slightly more honest then this full album release. I can't quite put my finger on the reason though.

HeresLookinAtYou (November 13, 2009)

Good review. She's hot, but that's no excuse for bad music.

moneenerd (November 13, 2009)

Remember when UNDERGROUND OPERATIONS used to mean something?

And the reason Lights is associated with this new gen HxC scene is because she was romantically affiliated with the dude from Skate4Cancer.

mattramone (November 13, 2009)

I'd only put it in her mouth in order to get her to stop singing.

Alien (November 13, 2009)

"I feel like I have to take a shower in acid-spitting bees with chainsaw teeth in order to remove its stench from my existence. "
awesome haha

Wesley_Snipes (November 13, 2009)

1 star. 4 poop music.

OnMyWayToHell (November 13, 2009)

I'd still hit it.

mikexdude (November 13, 2009)

oooo ponx

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