ALBUM REVIEW: Lights – ‘Skin&Earth’

Earlier this month we told you that Canadian songstress Lights would be releasing her fourth album ‘Skin&Earth’ later on in the month. The day has now come for this concept album to be released to the world and provide the musical accompaniment to the comic book series written and illustrated by Lights in conjunction with the album’s tracks.

Every good release starts off with an intro to set the scene, with it coming it 34 seconds long there’s just enough time for your mind to wander into a sparkling distance land before the opening lyric of Skydiving ‘It all starts here’ bringing you back to reality. The transition is flawless between these two tracks and starts off the story of Skin&Earth, the pop tones of Skydiving tells of those eclectic feelings of being so madly in love with someone you’re ready to take risks for them regardless of the consequences. Synths play a large role throughout this release giving the platform for Light’s sultry vocals to flow over with ease. Until The Light with rough guitars and the increasing intensity of drums take you back to that distant land where your cares float to a new land, giving you a chance to dance to the beat forgetting you’re really sat listening to the release in your room.

Savage shows a new side to Lights sound keeping this release fresh and exciting in an age where sticking to what you’re used to is the norm. Lights isn’t holding back as drums from Twenty One Pilots Josh Dun helps create this angsty, out for revenge track which provides one of the hardest hitting emotional efforts on this release. New Fears takes the release in a different direction again, showing the vulnerable side of the lyrics on this album whilst remaining full of feeling and packed with synths. It’s such a delicate track but one which it’s impossible to not feel a personal attachment to and believe every word and feeling being portrayed by Lights during it.

Hauntingly beautiful Morphine sees keys gaining a prominence sending a shiver down the spine whilst giving older fans all their favourite parts of Light’s previous release, the lyrics remind you of going back to something you know you shouldn’t yet can’t stay away from. The addition of clicking in the later part of the track is a new element to throw into the mix, making it near impossible however to not be distracted by it and at times let the vocals fade into the distance. We Were Here opening with finger clicking makes us fear we’re going to be distracted again, yet as the heavier pop tempo comes into play our fears disappear completely. Kicks retains the upbeat pop vibe which has been unleashed within Lights, removing the delicacy of the tracks which came before it that allowed us to become immersed within the release. Had this not been a concept album these would seem out of place yet here they allow the many sides to one person’s story being shown through the changing musical style.

Giants provided the first taste of Skin&Earth to fans flaunting a heavy beat driven chorus, full of monumental power making you instantly feeling bigger, bolder and stronger. There’s something about this track which wouldn’t make it appear out of place on a film soundtrack, it’s a song of hope and belief that we can do absolutely anything we set out to do. Moonshine brings back the pop-side of Lights yet keys and electronic vibes play a bigger role here, during the second half of the release lyrically you can feel the hope, belief and positivity flowing heavily. ‘Moonshine – this is my time’ this really is Light’s time to shine as we’re struggling to tear ourselves away from this track to review the rest of the album as it’s infectiously good.

Track 11 is the album’s Interlude providing a time of slow reflection from the poppy excitement of the tracks just heard, as we had towards the end of the album there are three more chances for Lights to continue to impress. Magnetic Field has the pop-vibe we’ve fallen in love with over the release mixed with metaphor-filled lyrics including ‘You’re a magnetic field’ singing of being dragged back to something you try not to, pretty much like a magnet if you hadn’t already guessed. It’s hypnotising with repetitive lyrics, floating melodies and drum lines which just keep you coming back.

Fight Club again is a totally different side of Lights which made us wonder if we were actually listening to the same album or even Lights as it’s just THAT out there and different to what we were expecting. Different isn’t necessarily bad, let’s be honest. Full of synthy pop which wouldn’t be out of place in a club brings you back to earth with a musical bump. It’s fast, it’s fun and it’s fiery, what more could you want from the penultimate track? Closing track Almost Had Me ends this release full of sincerity, big beats, bassy rhythms and a singalong chorus which says goodbye to Skin&Earth on a resounding high.

What’s clear is that Lights has spent time perfecting not only the tracks but also the order of the tracks as we’re taken on a rollercoaster journey allowing us to create our own visual stories within our minds, showing the storytelling powers which Lights possess. If you’re yet to check out her comic book series be sure to do so whilst checking out this mesmerizing, lyrically emotive album.

Skin&Earth is out today and can be purchased from here.

Are you a Lights fan? What’s your favourite track from Skin&Earth? Tweet us @CelebMix to let us know.

Written by Nicola Craig

Lover of all things pop, a boyband or two, and discovering new artists to get hooked on. You'll usually find me at a gig, truly living my best life without a care in the world.