Thursday, March 5
Adult Nights Too Similar to Every Other Night
Artist: Wild Light
Album: Adult Nights
Comments: My first experience with Wild Light was not a good one.
See, I saw them open up for Tapes n Tapes a week ago, and they made me sick. While the band has been getting some pretty good press all over the place, all I saw was four guys in tight pants making stupid faces and playing what could charitably be called "synth pop" and more accurately called "generic dance-rock bullshit." I left the bar with one of their matchbooks (yeah, this band has got fucking match books, for chrissakes), fully prepared to rip their album Adult Nights to shreds.
To be fair, Adult Nights is not nearly as bad as the band's live show lead me to believe. First of all, their songs are much more synth pop and much less dance bullshit on the album, and it's always better to make synth pop than dance bullshit. In fact, some of these tracks, like the one-two album opening punch of "California on my Mind" and "New Hampshire" are pretty nice little pop songs. With strong vocals and catchy hooks that get stuck in the head the way good pop songs should, Adult Nights is a hit as long as you stop listening after the first two songs.
After those songs, however, the album quickly runs out of charm. Every song after the first two is either a retread of those first two or a reminded of other, better bands. At any given moment listening to Adult Nights, one will be reminded of Death Cab For Cutie, The Shout Out Louds, The Legends, Belle & Sebastian, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, even the Arcade Fire (of which one of the members of Wild Light is a former member). It's one thing to listen to an album and think "Hm, this reminds me of something else" and another to listen to an album and think "Hm, I wish I was listening to one of these other, better bands right now. I think I'll put that on!"
Still, Adult Nights is not at all the train wreck I hoped it would be. It's a perfectly fine album if you can't wait for the next Train album, or if you're a high school girl, or if you just really, really like average keyboard pop. Harmless and toothless, I'm sure this album will appeal to someone, but with some many better bands doing the same thing at a higher level, I'm just not sure who. The only way to really look favorably on Wild Light is as a springboard to better bands, which is a noble enough purpose, I guess.
Key Tracks: California on my Mind, New Hampshire
Buy, Steal, Skip: Skip