The Lights Are Back On!
Posted June 20, 2012
By JJFrancesco_NRT, Staff Reviewer
Capital Lights made quite a splash on the Christian rock scene with their 2008 Tooth & Nail Records debut entitled This Is An Outrage! Their infectious pop/rock sound earned them oodles of fans, and they seemed to be poised to become one of the major acts in the industry. Then they announced that they were breaking up. All the air was let out of the hope of another release of foot-tapping tunes from the Tulsa rockers.
But then, on Christmas Eve 2010, the band gave their fans one heck of a Christmas present: they announced that they were planning to release one more album with Tooth & Nail Records. They weren’t planning to tour in support of it, but they would still be making music. There was finally a light at the end of the tunnel.
Fast-forward to Summer 2012, and the long-awaited release is finally here. Rhythm N’ Moves wastes no time in giving fans exactly what they’d expect out of a Capital Lights album--a catchy pop chorus backed by a light rock sound. The title track immediately reminds listeners why they fell in love with the band’s debut. The feeling extends throughout the entire album.
Both lyrically and musically, the album seems to be very consistent. It’s cheesy, it’s syrupy, it’s cliché (but yet still fresh), it’s poppy beyond all reason, it’s nearly impossible to get out of your head, and I dare you not to dance along to the band’s ridiculously catchy sound. Essentially, it’s Capital Lights!
“Let Your Hair Down”, “Say Hey”, lead-single “Coldfront Heatstroke” and “Caroline” all serve as strong poppy album highlights, and are instant classics. Capital Lights didn’t just put out a sequel though.
While this is largely an album for the fans, there’s some new territory explored. “Newport Party” features some light rapping on the bridge and “Hey Little One” slows things down more than anything on the debut for a moving ballad. The only musical disappointment might be that the rock sound from their debut is dialed down a bit here. But “Save The Last Dance” should whet that whistle enough. And I’d be remiss if I failed to mention the opening whistle to “Don’t Drop Dead Juliet.” It’s almost a laughable cliché in sound, and yet it’s so fitting that it’s bound to bring a whimsical smile to your face.
This band should be dominating every pop radio station in the country. Lyrically, their sappy approach should please Christian and secular listeners alike, or at least those who like their lyrics extra-sweet.
“Every sugar high ends in a crash”... “She’s a cold front giving me a heatstroke. She’s a hit song ending on a weak note”... “Like a game show, I bombard her with questions. Like a caught-off-guard contestant, she’s stuttering with uh-uh-uh-uh…” Lyrics like these are present aplenty in this album, and they’re all vintage Capital Lights. Those looking for a religiously meaty album probably won’t be satisfied with this, but I doubt they’d have been too fond of Capital Lights’ debut, either.
However, like was the case with “Return” on their debut, Capital Lights still sets aside one track for a blatant Christ-centered message: “Gotta Have Love.” While the lyrics hardly break any new ground, their simplicity resonates, such as the opening verse: “In this world, it’s all about who you know and I know someone who’s out of this world. So all my doubts and worries that can bring me down, are in His hands, so mine are still.” So couple the lyrics with the music and you have quite a solid sophomore release.
With this release, Capital Lights delivers one heck of a strong goodbye present to their fans, book-ending their all-too-brief career with an album at least as solid as anything they’ve ever done. I suppose the big downside is that this probably is the end now--the last release. Or is it?
In the age where bands break up and then get back together and release another new album, maybe there is hope for a third album. We can only hope. Either way, this album should definitely give us another batch of strong songs to keep us dancing to the rhythm n’ moves all summer long. It’s not musically mind-blowing, but it is genuine, clean, feel-good music.
And when a release succeeds in its humble aims of merely making listeners happy, that’s something worth celebrating. Here’s to you, Capital Lights! Let’s hope this isn’t really the last dance after all.
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