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Monday, March 18, 2013

Goff's Pick of the Week- Lucifer by Peaking Lights

It took me a while to get into Lucifer, probably a sentence I never thought I would write. And whether that is because I am God fearing or because frankly I didn’t care for the album the first time I heard it Ill leave up to you. There is always a double edged sword associated with liking an album that you originally didn’t. When it happens, I always catch myself thinking, do I like this because it is good, or do I like this because I have heard it a bunch of times? With Lucifer, there is no clear answer. Its been several months since Peaking Lights released the record, and only now am I finally able to take the plunge, finally able to write this review, I like this album.
When I first heard Lucifer my initial reaction spurred up comparisons to Enya. Not musically mind you, it just felt like if I was going to enjoy Lucifer the only way I would be able to do it would be at a spa, in a towel. And while that may not be the most praising thing that I have ever written, looking back it has its merits. I think I would enjoy Lucifer at a spa, in a towel. The only difference now is that I would enjoy Lucifer here too, with or without the towel, Green Eggs N Ham style. Again, I like this album, now let’s figure out why.

Peaking Lights seem to be all about repetition these days, most of the songs on Lucifer drone. It makes the record daunting because if you don’t find one of the elements catchy or appealing than it makes it hard to enjoy that particular song. There is probably just enough variety though between the songs to keep the listeners ears perked, but even so, the songs themselves don’t really vary that much in structure or sound, so if you don’t immediately find one of the songs linked here appealing, it could be a long and challenging journey before you do. On some strange level though these drones work, and its not just because of their ambient tone. Its like Peaking Light’s appeal lies in their musicianship rather than their ambience which at first is contradictory, because how hard is it to loop a simple riff? Not hard at all, but Peaking Lights makes it work somehow, and that’s impressive to me.
What’s more impressive though is the aesthetic, which again is not immediately interesting but on second thought is rather compelling. Mysteriousness, as clich√© as it has become in music writing, plays a rather interesting role on Lucifer. For one the albums name is not quite what it seems. As the band has said in interviews, they were not trying to name the album after Satan per se, but after its other meaning, the Morningstar. And immediately an interesting question arises, if something beautiful is tainted by being associated with the devil, can that thing ever really be disassociated? And if it can should it? I don’t know, but the band Peaking Lights seems to. 

The album cover highlights this well. Spelling out Lucifer in a baby blue neon light against a white background makes for a rather compelling cover. The cover is at the same time soothing because of the pastel color palate, and disarming because of the name. And what of the baby cries that appear on the song ? Apparently they are the cries of the husband and wife duo’s baby, which like the cover is cute and creepy at the same time. That contrast works well for the record and its intricacies is one of the main things that brought me back to the record. Oh and the music, the music brought me back as well. It’s an interesting record, worth listening too even if you don’t like it right away.

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