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Lights – Siberia Review

I was more than pleasantly surprised upon listening to Canadian singer-songwriter Lights’ sophomore album Siberia.  I never really considered myself a fan of the 24 year-old, synth-pop star until I heard this album.  Lights inclination for experimentation has led to vast improvement since her 2009 debut album, The Listening.

Siberia starts off with her traditional synth-pop style but grows harder and edgier right into the second track “Where the fence is low.” It quickly becomes evident that Lights Poxleitner has decided to go with a heavier dubstep-influenced album this time around.  Which suits her angelic voice perfectly.  Her vocals seem effortless and provide a nice contrast to the distortion of the dubstep sound. Thus making the genre tolerable for those who reject the controversial genre as meaningless noise. She also changes up her sound with the inclusion of hip hop, creating an unpredictable pop album that is quite different than the ordinary mainstream fare served up, non-stop daily on the radio.  Any electro enthusiast will be able to appreciate the direction Lights has decided to take with her second studio album.

This album sounds a little dirtier, and a little grimier than The Listening.  Most likely due to heavier beats and the collaborative efforts from Canadian hip-hop artist Shad and electronic band, Holy Fuck providing drum production and synths. You can expect an upbeat, feel good tone for most of this album but there are some surprises with a rap here and there and some chilled out numbers like “Cactus in the Valley” where Lights slows it down with a moving electro-ballad. Vocally, Lights Poxleitner seems perfectly suited for the dubstep genre, her voice is soft yet strong and capable of conjuring whatever emotion she wishes to express. Popular tracks like “Toes” and “Banner” will reassure her earliest fans that Lights has not abandoned her pop beginnings while tracks like “Flux and Flow” and “Everybody breaks a glass” will entice new listeners that crave something a little more than synth-happy pop.

Her debut album established Lights as the 2009 Juno award winner for Best new artist and gained her respect as a self-made musician.  So it comes as no surprise that Siberia has also landed her a 2012 Juno nomination for Pop album of the year.   It’s clear she deserves the recognition and respect.

Best tracks – “Where the fence is low,” “Timing is everything,” “Everybody breaks a glass,” and “Flux and Flow.”


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