Bishop Allen | Lights Out | Rating: 5/11 |
Bishop Allen has had a successful run with cinema and great indie-pop songs over the last ten years. Sadly, their new record, Lights Out, has failed to do something new and agreeable. Lights Out is a great step in the right direction for the band’s musical talents, but it fails to exhibit advancements in their songwriting abilities and vocalization. With the two founding members being Harvard students (Justin Rice and Christian Rudder) the songs seem slightly childish and a little careless with the artistic loom.
Well known for their poppy sounds, from video games to movie screens, Bishop Allen has graced many different platforms and their first single, “Start Again,” will probably reach them all again. Consisting of some simple palm-muting quarter note riffs with some catchy drum beats, it’s a simple song about bickering and nonsense-filled rebuttals in relationships. Rice sings, “If you want to burn it down / if you want to start it again / if you want to turn it around then go ahead” throughout the chorus. The catchy tone and romantic nature of the song is sure to find the ears of the mellow dramatics looking for something to relate to.
“I Should Be Leaving” is the second big song on the record. Bass prominent lines and 80s style synthesizers working in the background are what differentiates this song from the others. While memorable due to its chorus, “I should be leaving,” being recited endlessly, the song fails to provide any kind of originality or even excitement.
Both of the album’s singles have videos, one of which is directed by Chad Smith and Justin Rice. Both are complementary to the songs, adding some much needed merit to each of them. In “Start Again” the band takes viewers on a tour of their new town of Kingston, NY in a Portlandia-like vision while “I Should Be Leaving” shows off the band’s hula-hooping skills. It doesn’t seem to have anything to do with the song but we’re guessing it’s ironic. If in doubt, check out those videos as the two songs are a direct image of what is to be expected from the rest of the record. Overall, Lights Out fares less favorably than their last couple of records, but to each their own.