Bright Light Bright Light & Nerina Pallot – Put A Little Love In Your Heart

“You don’t necessarily need festive lyrics to have a great Christmas song.”

Tim: Mr Light Bright Light is another one with a Christmas EP out this year, comprising six covers of songs from Christmas movies; this is the only one on YouTube. and for anyone who doesn’t know the connection, the Annie Lennox cover of the original 1960s track is from the Scrooged soundtrack.

Tim: For me, that starts good and just keeps getting better. Sure, it’s clearly a cover of an 80s song, but it’s a damned good song, such a lovely duet.

Tom: It is, although — and I’m well aware that this is down to personal preference rather than anything in the production here — it’s a song that I don’t actually like. I can’t explain why, the lyrics are just a bit too trite, the melody just a bit too Playdays.

Tim: Hmm, I get where you’re coming from – and if you don’t like the saccharine of the original, this isn’t going to be an improvement. Looking at it from my view, though: we’re not kept waiting too long for that lovely textbook key change, and the sax that comes in towards the end just adds that little bit more. Sure, there’s nothing seasonal in the lyrics – the original was released in June – but as we saw with Love Me Like You, you don’t necessarily need festive lyrics to have a great Christmas song. And I reckon this is.

Tom: Yep, if I try and treat this with a bit of objectivity, there’s little to complain about: the production’s spot-on.

Tim: In that case I’d suggest for you another cover, and one that’s also entirely devoid of festive lyrics: Siouxsie & the Banshees’s Face To Face, from the Batman Returns soundtrack; that’s on the EP as well. It’s wonderfully Christmassed up, and is so weird but also so great, so check that out.

Bright Light Bright Light feat. Elton John – Symmetry of Two Hearts

“Elton doesn’t exactly take control much, does he?”

Tim: We last featured Bright Light Bright Light here a couple of years back; somewhat surprised that he wangled a feat. Elton John.

Tom: I wonder if there is some connection via record companies? Or perhaps Elton John just finds bands he likes and asks “hey, want me to sing something for you?”

Tim: Since then, there’ve actually been a couple more – May’s All In The Name Of, which we annoyingly never found time to cover, and this, which we have found time to cover. Hence us covering it.

Tim: Hmm. Elton doesn’t exactly take control much, does he?

Tom: I’m not entirely sure he was in there. Come on, at least give him a line with a million-dollar-piano solo.

Tim: I think I can make out his voice for a second or two around the 2:49 mark and maybe elsewhere in that middle eight wooaahh-ing, but mate, really, put some effort in. On the other hand, Rod has perfectly decent vocals to fill in for him, and you’ve got some top notch choreography going on in that video (makes sense, given the title of his album is Choreography).

Tom: And it’s a pretty good pop song, isn’t it? The production is lovely, the melody is great, and I found myself tapping along with that chorus. That’s rare.

Tim: Musically we’ve excellent synth work and brass all blended together nicely, so sod Elton’s lack of being, I’m happy with this as it is.

Tom: Maybe Elton’s doing that sax bit in the final chorus. It’s a good sax bit.

Bright Light Bright Light feat. Elton John – I Wish We Were Leaving

“Drum-and-bass & dreamlike instrumentation”

Tim: Following on from last weeks current and old collaboration, have another.

Tom: “Feat. Elton John” is a pretty good credit to have.

Tim: Elton, allegedly, phoned up Mr Light Bright Light to inform him that he was a bit of a fan; inspiration struck Rod, and he rewrote this track as duet, called Elton and asked him to sing. Nice, isn’t it?

Tom: It is: it’s unusual to hear what sounds almost like drum-and-bass underneath dreamlike instrumentation, but it works well.

Tim: Apparently, Elton taking lead vocals on the second verse is “a reminder that every relationship has two sides and two voices”, which if you think about it is slightly unfair and denigrating of couples in which one person is mute, but never mind.

Tom: I think you can have a “voice” without actually having a voice. But leaving your pedantry aside: wow, Elton’s got a voice.

Tim: It’s a lovely track, and the voices complement each other well, though that may have something to do with Elton’s singing being toned down somewhat for this genre: “I had to sing in a completely different way which I really enjoyed.”

Tom: That chorus does remind me a bit of the Beach Boys’ God Only Knows, mind.

Tim: As with so many of his tracks, this has a slight mix of the downbeat and the happiness, with the whole “breaking up but you’ll be fine” thing going on. It’s lovely, and, if either of you are reading, since you both enjoyed it perhaps it could be a regular thing? I wouldn’t be complaining.

Bright Light Bright Light – Moves

“The seventh (that’s seventh) and final single from the album.”

Tim: The seventh (that’s seventh) and final single from the album Make Me Believe In Hope also comes with its own EP launching in America and a nice video, featuring Rod (which is his name) being very sweaty and topless.

Tom: Seven singles off one album? What was it, a double-cassette compilation or something?

Tim: Nope – just a damn good album.

Tim: And what a lovely track that is to close the album’s output with.

Tom: The first verse lost me, and I found my attention wandering to other thing — until that chorus kicked in. I think the start of the chorus, and that waily-synthesiser middle-eight, are the only parts of the track I can really get behind… but they are really very good parts.

Tim: Absolutely – wonderful production underneath as ever, and brilliantly sung lyrics conveying exactly the right tone – “We can move apart, I guess, and I can move along, I guess, and I can do my best, I guess, but then what’s the use?” – a long, despondent realisation that a relationship’s over and there’s, well, nothing left.

Tom: Agreed that it’s brilliantly sung. Perhaps more of an album track than a single, but hell, after six previous ones I can forgive it not being a full-on attention-grabbing crowd-pleaser.

Tim: The video, cutting between him dancing around on his own, and lying on his bed looking somewhat less than happy is spot on as well, and I don’t think there’s anything else to ask for.

Utterly brilliant, top marks, and I cannot recommend the album highly enough. Get it.

Saturday Flashback: Bright Light Bright Light – Disco Moment

Four-on-the-floor disco beat. This bodes well.

Tom: “This is my moment! This is my disco-o-o moment, with you!” …no?

Tim: No.

Tom: Shame.

Tim: Quick backstory: I’ve recently been listening to a lot of electropop, and then I found this, which is a great compilation if anyone’s looking to expand their knowledge. One of the tracks on there is this, from last summer. Enjoy.

Tom: Four-on-the-floor disco beat. This bodes well.

Tim: Video: no idea what’s going on, I really don’t, although I have learned that blue lipstick really doesn’t do much good for your teeth. Music: speaks for itself. The backing beats and melody and fantastic, the verses stand up well and as for that chorus, well, just listen to it, and I challenge you to tell me it’s not brilliant.

You can’t, can you?

Tom: I wouldn’t deign to try. The verses are a bit too quiet and monotonous for me, but then without them the chorus wouldn’t shine as brightly.

Tim: Indeed. And it is a very very bright chorus.