2 years have passed since Bright Light Bright Light aka Rod Thomas released his critically acclaimed debut album Make Me Believe In Hope. The electro-pop stylings of that record won over critics, fans and celebrity admirers and it found itself voted the fourth best album of its year by Guardian readers. Now Rod is back with his follow-up record Life Is Easy which comes hot-on-the-heels of his recent support slot with none other than the icon Elton John.
Life is Easy is a natural progression from Make Me Believe In Hope and won’t surprise those who bought the previous record. The sound stays in the electro-pop genre mixing house beats with late 80s/early 90s rhythms. The album opens with the dreamy Everything I Ever Wanted which is under-pinned by a soft beat before opening up into a euphoric soundscape that provides the perfect backdrop for Rod’s distinctive vocals.
Throughout Life is Easy there are so many sumptuous moments of pure pop delight that it’s hard to pick out standout songs as they are all so good. From the wistful I Wish We Were Leaving featuring Elton John through to the late night disco of In Your Care Rod explores the facets of the electro-pop genre adding his emotive and honest lyrics into the mix.
Across the album Rod experiments with a variety of sounds from industrial beats on the jerky Good Luck to the Pet Shop Boys’-esque shimmer of An Open Heart. The album draws to a close with the emotive Happiness which masks a sad lyric with chunky beats.
The pulsing Too Much is one of the finest moments on the record as Rod laments about the passing of a relationship that he’s trying to move on from. Current single I Believe, one of the more uptempo cuts on the album, is another standout moment with its building beats and soaring chorus.
With 90s sounds back in vogue it’s surprising that Bright Light Bright Light isn’t being championed as the leader of its resurgence. Despite often looking like he’s going to cross into the big time, Bright Light Bright Light retains somewhat of a cult following. There is plenty on Life is Easy that could easily best the majority of the current charts and we hope that more people discover the pure pop magic of one of the UK’s finest artists.