Missed The 50: Bright Light Bright Light ‘Make Me Believe In Hope’
Missed The 50…
Bright Light Bright Light
‘Make Me Believe In Hope’
For the best part of the last decade, sophisticated electropop with a beating heart and tear-stained cheeks has been dominated by ladies born in and around Scandinavia. From Robyn to Annie to Lykkie Li, to newcomers like Faye and Noonie Bao, it seems we can’t get enough of massive heartbreaking choruses sung joyfully by ladies who’ve clearly had to put up with cold dark winters stuck indoors with their soon to be ex-boyfriends.
But it’s also rooted in UK pop history of course, galvanised in the 80s by the likes of the Pet Shop Boys and Erasure. Continuing the tradition of men having a bit of a cry-dance – and picking up where Will Young‘s amazing 2011 album ‘Echoes’ left off – is Rod Thomas aka Bright Light Bright Light (yes that is a Gremlins reference), whose debut album ‘Make Me Believe In Hope’ expertly mixes big, 90s-influenced beats and bouncing house piano riffs (‘Feel It’, ‘Waiting For The Feeling’ and ‘Love Part II’) with genuine, gut-wrenching emotion (if ‘Moves’ doesn’t make you weep like a child then you’re probably dead).
At the centre of it all is Thomas’ very own ‘Dancing On My Own’ in the shape of ‘Disco Moment’. Set in a club and underpinned by a tense-sounding keyboard riff, it transports the listener onto the dancefloor where things are about to get very emotional. “If this is just another awkward conversation that we have,” Thomas sings softly in the opening line, “let’s leave it until the morning. I want to go home or stay out and go dance, just not this.” As with ‘Dancing On My Own’, the whole thing erupts into a massive hands-in-the-air chorus that concludes in the song’s final third with a simple, “we’re breaking up”.
Released independently and funded in part by a fairly relentless touring schedule, ‘Make Me Believe In Hope’ is, and sounds like, a labour of love, each lyric poured over and each melody shift into another sky-scraping chorus as expertly timed as you’d hope it to be. Produced with the likes of Boom Bip, The Invisible Men (Jessie J, Nicola Roberts) and Andy Chatterley (Kylie, Nerina Pallot), and featuring vocals from Scissor Sister‘s Del Marquis on the brilliantly-titled ‘Cry At Films’, it’s an album that encourages repeat listens simply because, unlike the majority of pop albums in 2012, it feels like it needs to be enjoyed as a whole and not simply as a collection of forgettable LOLpop dancefloor fillers.