Nina Rajagopalan, Staff Writer
Rating: 2.5 Stars
Bright Light Bright Light takes listeners on a ride through a sky shot through with blue and purple disco lights, and cascades of glitter that fall like rain. Make Me Believe in Hope is Welsh producer/songwriter/remixer Rod Thomas’ debut release under the name Bright Light Bright Light.
Thomas is obviously inspired by the glam dance artists of his youth (think Haddaway’s “What is Love” or La Bouche’s “Be My Lover”). Make Me Believe in Hope is very reminiscent of ‘90s era techno, and the result is shimmery, good fun.
“Feel It” is super sexy and boasts the best build up and beat drop on Make Me Believe in Hope. It is catchy and the most instrumentally impressive track on the album. Soulful female back-up vocals flesh things out, providing dimension and sex appeal. If you can get past the silly lyrics, (“Give me something to scream about / And be the reason to open my mouth”) this track is great.
Make Me Believe in Hope traverses themes of love, lust, and loss. Thomas’ voice calls out as clear and true as a choirboy’s. What he says, however, leaves something to be desired. The lyrics are often cheesy and obvious. You’re left with the feeling that Bright Light Bright Light would be better off composing purely instrumental electronic tracks. There were points at which I cringed. On “Grace,” he sings, “It takes a lot to see somebody cry.” Oh, please.
I kept waiting for each song’s build up to crash over me in a thrilling wave of sound, the way good techno songs do. “Feel It” succeeds in this respect, but the other tracks kept me waiting. Make Me Believe in Hope can be danceable, but it can also leave you on the brink of boredom.
To sum it up, Make Me Believe in Hope offers up a little lighthearted fun without providing much substance. Mostly, I was left wanting more. My best advice is to take this album for what it is: enjoyable, insubstantial dance pop.