Bright Light Bright Light – Choreography (Album Review)
Artist: Bright Light Bright Light
Standout(s): Symmetry of Two Hearts, How Does It Feel, Running Back To You, Kiss For Kiss, I Only Want To Please You
Five years ago, I was making my rounds to all my favorite pop blogs. One specifically, MuuMuse, had a feature on this new male artist. His name was Bright Light Bright Light. Born Rod Thomas, he was an indie pop artist from the UK that was gaining a lot of buzz through the pop music outlets. His new single at the time Waiting For The Feeling had just got released. It was love at first listen. That same day, I received an email about reviewing his debut album Make Me Believe In Hope. The musical love affair had started from that point on. It was a kaleidoscope of 80s Pop and 90s Dance music. The album was an emotional trip that I hadn’t had from a male artist in quite some time. He continued to release amazing music on his EP, sophomore record and miscellaneous music projects he had over the years. The time had come for his third album. Would he able to continue his winning streak?
His third album was aptly titled Choreography. When I asked him what was the concept behind the record he said:
This album is based on my love for dance sequences in films. Those moments make me SO happy, they’re so euphoric. I wanted to capture that energy and magic and make an album that felt as amazing to perform as those are to watch. ‘Symmetry Of Two Hearts’ is inspired by Kim Cattrall’s dance sequence in ‘Mannequin’, ‘All In The Name’ is inspired by ‘Downtown / Skid Row’ in ‘Little Shop Of Horrors.’
It’s very apparent out the gate that this album would be a brighter side of him. The lead single All In The Name is an contagious 80s movie montage song. It has great energy, a funky drum section and infectious sing-a-long chorus.Elton John co-stars in this song briefly which gives the song a nice touch. The next track Symmetry of Two Hearts, which also features Elton, has incredible production. The brass section moves the energy of the song while the bass line set the foundation. The chorus has a beautiful melody and chord progression. It’s a nice harmony of the synths and live instrumentation. One track from the album that was quite a surprise would be the smooth R&B of How Does It Feel. This song was one of many unexpected moments on the record. Rod’s voice is silky and endearing. The production has a modern spin on classic 80s R&B/ Adult Contemporary. The drum loop echoes and the synths dance along like lights in the sky. It’s such a romantic and heartwarming song.
On the tear-jerker Running Back To You, Rod recounts his debut album’s dramatic soundscape. The haunting piano riff and stuttering synths create such a dynamic contention. The mood is so heartbreaking. Rod’s voice trembles and exudes such sadness. On the flip side, the dangerously sexy Kiss For Kiss teams Rod with Scissor Sisters frontman and Kylie Minogue BFF Jake Shears. This song sounds like a dark club scene from Queer As Folk or the orgy scene from Sense8. It’s quite astonishing to hear Rod sing with such sensuality. Who knew he had such a naughty side? Jake probably helped to bring out that inner sex siren. The 90s Dance factory of I Only Want To Please You features the mesmerizing Ana Matronic. It’s reminiscent of Feel It from his debut. The production is full on throwback 90s House. Rod sounds confident and commanding on this song. It’s great to hear him belting with such vigor. Ana’s rap section is spot on from the delivery to the wordplay.
Choreography sounds like the best soundtrack to a great 80s movie. It has so many amazing moments. Every feature on this album adds a new facet to his musicality. It is remarkable to hear such a diverse gathering of songs that gel so well together. There are so many great moments on the album to feast on. The calm moments create a nice intermission and gives the album breathing room. The pacing of the album feels like a movie score. There’s a deeper sense of maturity on the record that is balanced out with the fun and rambunctious spirit. It’s the apex of his first two records with a splash of something new. Sonically, this album is his most daring. He took more chances and left caution to the wind. It certainly paid off tenfold. This is his best work thus far. Rod admitted that he may have two left feet but he obviously understands the rhythm of love. And that’s the best kind of choreography.