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Light Years

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Album Review

Given the higher profile of Belinda Carlisle and Jane Wiedlin's solo careers, it's easy to forget that the last of the original Go-Go's to join the band had by far the most impressive pedigree. Besides a stint in nearly every first-wave punk band in her native Austin, Kathy Valentine came to the Go-Go's via her time in the cultily beloved Textones (the first band to record Valentine's signature song, "Can't Stop the World"), and her appearance in the band coincided with their leap from third-string L.A. punk novelty to one of the most commercially successful punk-inspired bands of their era. Lightyears came out a full two decades after the band's protracted dissolution and a couple of half-hearted reunions, but it's easily one of the solidest solo records by any ex-Go-Go. A well-made collection of smart, mature pop songs given clean but not overly slick arrangements and production, Lightyears isn't any kind of revelation, really; Valentine was always second only to Wiedlin as a songwriter in the Go-Go's, and while these 12 songs are uniformly strong, there aren't any outright power pop masterpieces. The big surprise is that Valentine, who has never been a lead singer in any of her previous gigs, turns out to be a terrific vocalist. Songs like the swell, Beatlesque "Getting By" are enlivened by Valentine's flirty, sly delivery, and she handles ballads like the dreamy "Happy Endingless" and tough-cookie rockers like the snarling "Retouch Me" as handily as unexpected detours like the wiggily psych-dance-pop of the title track. After all this time, it turns out that the best singer in the Go-Go's was the party-girl redhead who stayed in the back out of the limelight. Who knew?

Customer Reviews

Sounds good!

Thank you Apple for this record, it is very, very good! If you a Go-Go's fan buy it!


"Light Years" is simply an awesome CD. Kathy Valentine's heartfelt songwriting skills and spectacular guitar work shows us why the Go-Go's were and still are a great band. Way to go Kathy!!!

Really Impressed!!!

This collection of songs stands up over time, I just listened to it for the first time in a couple of years and was struck again by the craft, intelligence, and musicality of her songs. Where's the next one??

Light Years, Kathy Valentine
View in iTunes
  • $9.99
  • Genres: Pop, Music, Rock
  • Released: Sep 06, 2005

Customer Ratings