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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

A little of this, a little of that. A lot of a Rock.

Kathy's first solo record touches a number of different styles. Sometimes it's Go Go's, sometimes you will swear she is channeling Deborah Harry and most of the time she just flat out rocks. Some great guitar on this record and I'm not talking about the guest solo from Ace. Kathy can really play. It's great that we get to hear her guitar work instead of just bass, which she played in the Go Go's (primarily because Charlotte had already claimed lead guitar). Buy this now! Tell your friends.

Awesome, incredible must have for any music lover!!!

This album rocks!!! This long awaited, much anticipated solo release from Kathy has become a must have for any music collector. Each tune exhibits Kathy's songwriting genius and her voice, well, who would have guessed that the silent bass player could belt out a tune! Wow, kudos to Kathy for writing such new masterpieces such as Getting By, Retouch Me, Until Then, and Win, songs which are more than capable of evoking memories and emotions when heard. Thank you Kathy for what has to be the BEST effort to date of any solo project put out by a GoGo!!!

Ace on guitars

It's a great album, kind of like a harder punk version of the go go'sat first I liked it and then loved it as I sensed something very familiar about the guitar work which I found out was none other than our blood spaceman ACE FREHLEY Doing the guitar solos.!!!!

Light Years, Kathy Valentine
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  • $9.99
  • Genres: Pop, Music, Rock
  • Released: Apr 22, 2005

Customer Ratings

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