Aloha - Light Works (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Aloha

Aloha: Light Works

Light Works (2007)

Polyvinyl


3.5
It's taken me some time to digest this album. At seven songs and just under thirty minutes, Light Works refuses to define itself as either an EP or full-length. And because of this ambiguous definition, Aloha has allowed themselves a medium to experiment with. Absent from this release is the high en...

It's taken me some time to digest this album. At seven songs and just under thirty minutes, Light Works refuses to define itself as either an EP or full-length. And because of this ambiguous definition, Aloha has allowed themselves a medium to experiment with. Absent from this release is the high energy and spontaneity that peppered their past few releases. Instead, Aloha opted for deliberate and well-thought out melodies to flush out their softer side.

Known for their prog-rock influences and gratuitous use of auxiliary percussion, Aloha has based this album off of subtle keyboards layered on top of acoustic guitars. The opening tune, "Body Buzz" offers a solid poppy introduction to this album. Focusing on a lead melody line carried by piano, the song more or less pushes forward with reliance on catchy hooks.

"Broken Light" and "Trick Spring" rely on slow tempos and barely-there percussion to pry the lid off of their moodier prog side. And while the songs are enticing, they just don't hit me with that special something like I got on Some Echoes. In an attempt to counter the snoozey tempos, "The End" bounces through a swung beat and an attempt at a rootsy feel.

Perhaps the album is more approachable than some of their other works. But I've always appreciated the way Aloha craft their songs to be unique and energetic, two properties that haven't been put together on this release. Granted, I thought their last album was near flawless, and may just be looking on with a hyper-critical eye.