Acoustic albums have been around forever, but within the past couple of years, it seems artists are releasing acoustic albums more than ever before. I, for one, am not upset about it. It’s been a year and a half since Canadian girl crush, Lights, released her third studio album, and the acoustic version of Little Machines, appropriately titled Midnight Machines, could not make its debut soon enough.
In true Lights fashion, the album is a perfectly balanced mix of the electrical soul sound that her fans have come to love, with the acoustic twist that in my experience, has only made songs better. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good dance beat. Acoustic versions, however, always tend to feel a little more personal. Not to mention, with a voice as beautifully killer as the one Light’s possesses, this album was pretty much destined for greatness from the start.
The album features six acoustic versions of songs originally on Little Machines, as well as two brand new songs. Classics like “Same Sea” and “Up We Go” are turned from Coachella-esque dance tracks, into beautiful, easy flowing tunes that make you want to sit in your car and just drive. Preferably at midnight, as the album clearly intended. “Running with the Boys” is one song that keeps a pretty quick tempo, similar to the original, with a more unplugged, raw sound.
New tracks, like “Follow You Down” and “Head Cold”, feature a background filled with a string section that will blow your mind. “Follow You Down” is probably my personal favorite. Lights’ unplugged voice is mesmerizing in this beautifully soothing tune. The acoustic version of “Meteorites” blows the original out of the water. It’s like that song was made to be acoustic. The slight slow jazz feel it gives off doesn’t hurt either.
Lights won the Juno award for “New Artist of the Year” back in 2009, and I only see bigger, better things in her near future. This album is truly an acoustic masterpiece that is going to be a huge hit this year. It’s not often that you come across artists that can kill an acoustic, unplugged album. Lights is one of few.
by Bianca Benker