14 Songs, 50 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

For her third studio album, 2014’s Little Machines, Canadian synth-popster Lights (real name: Valerie Poxleitner) works with her longtime collaborator Thomas Salter, along with Drew Pearson (Katy Perry) and mixer Mark “Spike” Stent (U2, Beyoncé). Where her previous album, Siberia, aimed for, yes, an icier tone and touches of dubstep, Little Machines veers closer to the warmer and more inviting sounds of her 2009 debut, The Listening. Sharp hooks are everywhere. “Portal” starts things gently, as if wishing to ease listeners into the album experience, while “Running with the Boys,” the single “Up We Go,” “Same Sea,” “Speeding,” and “Muscle Memory” all fly at varying speeds of light to make this the brightest and most infectious synth-pop album of 2014. Should anyone feel that Lights is content with ephemeral pop music, listen closer to the deep commitment underscoring the official album closer, “Don’t Go Home Without Me,” where she hopes to sing to her lover through the years until “I’m old beside you.” The deluxe edition adds three more impressive songs.

EDITORS’ NOTES

For her third studio album, 2014’s Little Machines, Canadian synth-popster Lights (real name: Valerie Poxleitner) works with her longtime collaborator Thomas Salter, along with Drew Pearson (Katy Perry) and mixer Mark “Spike” Stent (U2, Beyoncé). Where her previous album, Siberia, aimed for, yes, an icier tone and touches of dubstep, Little Machines veers closer to the warmer and more inviting sounds of her 2009 debut, The Listening. Sharp hooks are everywhere. “Portal” starts things gently, as if wishing to ease listeners into the album experience, while “Running with the Boys,” the single “Up We Go,” “Same Sea,” “Speeding,” and “Muscle Memory” all fly at varying speeds of light to make this the brightest and most infectious synth-pop album of 2014. Should anyone feel that Lights is content with ephemeral pop music, listen closer to the deep commitment underscoring the official album closer, “Don’t Go Home Without Me,” where she hopes to sing to her lover through the years until “I’m old beside you.” The deluxe edition adds three more impressive songs.

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