One of the most eagerly awaited albums of 2014 for me was “Bright Light Bright Light” second album “Life is Easy”. I first heard Rod Thomas whose stage name is “Bright Light Bright Light” on a miserable night in Glasgow when he was supporting the Scissor Sister at the Barrowlands. After 3 songs I was completely hooked on a set of well crafted joyous pop songs. Since then his debut album “Make Me Believe in Hope” has been one of my most played records of the last few years.
Finally in 2014, his second album “Life is Easy” was released on his own “Self Raising” record label and it’s been well worth the wait. Again “Bright Light Bright Light” has mined a rich tradition of disco and dance music littering the album with songs with infectious tunes and great grooves. However to suggest this is a simple pop record would be greatly misleading as Rod Thomas is developing into one of the finest lyric writers of his generation.
The sentiment in this album is heavy with reflection on failed relationships, loss and moving on but never becoming defeatist or negative. In the end, the resistant feeling of optimism and hope for a brighter future leaves the listener quite intoxicated. There are many stand out tracks on this album, my particular favourites are the pulsing “An Open Heart” and optimistic battle cry of “There Are No Miracles” or aching melancholy of “Happiness”
In the impersonal age of streaming and digital download, Rod Thomas is an artist steeped in understanding of the heritage of record making like Jack Whyte. “Life is Easy” works best when listened to as a complete piece not as rag bag for the digital age where the lazy listener picks the one or two songs they like.
Comparisons are lazy and something I intensely dislike usually, but if you long for intelligent heartfelt pop music of the like of “behaviour” by the Pet Shop Boys, I would strongly recommend investigating “Life is Easy”.