By: Adrian Valentine
One thing can be said for certain, Lights sings her heart out on her latest full-length release. Little Machines is typical of her style in that she relies on synthetic beats and techno sounds to create a moderately upbeat album that echoes a lot of familiar pop. The Torontonian songstress has stopped trying to be different and has instead adopted an amalgamation of popular electronic pop.
The first song on the album, “Portal,” introduces a new element to Lights with a very soft, steady lyrical rhythm over a synthetic drone. “Portal” comes in contrast to the beat-driven lyrics of the rest the album, as in “Up We Go” and “Running with the Boys,” both of which flaunt a happy harmony that provokes you to dance instead of think. But following those two tracks, the album drops in tempo and ends with a solemn electronic acoustic piece.
The album does provide an enjoyable background listen for study, and I can even see “Up We Go” playing in clubs over a remix sometime soon. It would also make for a great road trip soundtrack if you’re feeling a bit more introspective, with songs like “From All Sides,” “Don’t Go Home Without Me” and “The Same Sea” bringing the melody back down.
Lights appeals to the public by relying on musical norms and not trying to break the mold very much. She leans on techno-beats and uses her powerful voice and lyrics to save the instrumentals, which, on their own, are kind of boring.
Little Machines is an apt listen for anyone looking to chill out with the upbeat songs not present enough to give the album a dance vibe. It’s a well-put together album but it won’t leave you in awe.