Make Me Believe In Hope
The depressingly small world of male electropop has a new superstar, and his name is Rod Thomas. Under the stage name Bright Light Bright Light, Thomas' debut album "Make Me Believe In Hope" is a shimmering, self-assured affair packed with incredibly strong songwriting, beautiful vocals, and energetic production. Let me be clear: Bright Light Bright Light is not like many male pop artists we have these days. He doesn't exactly fit in with the Adam Lamberts and Jake Shears of the world. The correct, though slightly unfair, comparisons he has garnered from early on was the masculine answer to Robyn. His music is thoughtful and emotional while always retaining a dance aspect.
Truthfully, he feels most to me as a worthy successor to the space that Pet Shop Boys inhabited in the early 90's. Sparkling synths paired with strong, masculine vocals are rare these days. At a time where most of the successful male pop singers possess more of a falsetto based singing style, Thomas has a deep, pleasant voice that shines against sunny instrumentation. Strong highlights on this album such as "Disco Moment" and "Moves" have a sense of melody and structure that is almost unparalleled in pop music at the moment Luckily for the listener, what helps "Make Me Believe In Hope" feel so fresh isn't just Thomas' vocals or the album's production.
For a debut album by a young artist, the lyrical content is surprisingly mature and introspective. There is very little mention of putting one's hands in the air or requests for the DJ to turn this music up in Bright Light Bright Light's dance music. Self-affirmative anthems and tears-on-the-dancefloor-fillers take turns on "Make Me Believe In Hope," creating a strong narrative and a rewarding experience. Sorry, there is no mindless party rocking to be had here.
With this album, Bright Light Bright Light has created a signature, mature sound while creating a reputation for consistently strong output. What is exciting about Rod Thomas is not just that he is clearly a pop star to take note of. He is also a well known producer and songwriter that has involvement with other large (mostly European) singers and is a welcome element in the pop landscape. "Make Me Believe In Hope" is a stand-out album of 2012 and hopefully will receive the commercial success that such an accomplished album deserves.
"Make Me Believe In Hope"
Bright Light Bright Light
The Blue Team / Aztec Records Ltd