Lightning Seeds/See You in the Stars/BMG
Four out of Five Stars
Lightning Seeds make a sound that harkens back to another era, one when radio-ready pop shared seamless harmonies, instantly indelible melodies, and catchy choruses to make a sound that was easy on the ears and effortlessly engaging.
The man at the helm, Ian Broudie, is well versed in applying all those resources, having helmed Lightning Seeds since the very beginning before subsequently spinning off with his solo album, Tales Told, and a series of ventures that have found him behind the boards for other artists. Now back with his band after more than a dozen year lay-off, he’s successfully revived the sunny stance he pursued early on by making an album that emulates the band’s seminal sound. Each of these ebullient offerings proves instantly infectious, many of them accompanied by titles that underscore that effusive attitude. So too, “Emily Smiles,” “Great To Be Alive,” “Sunshine,” and “Lie To Love You” all live up to the luminous imagery they suggest.
As a result, every song resonates and rejoices with absolute optimism, all of them passionate pronouncements that soar and shimmer from the get-go. As a result, the listener may find it all but impossible to resist those positive platitudes and the upbeat enticement thy bring with them. Happiness abounds in Broudie’s world, and it’s obvious that’s the case when it comes to the sparkling melodies that make up the Lightning Seeds’ tuneful template. So even if certain songs sound giddy and even gleeful at times, Broudie is best forgiven. The band is, after all, a vehicle that serves his own passion and purpose, and clearly, there is no limit as to how far his enthusiasm is taken, even when it risks overstating the obvious. The regal arrangements that adorn each offering clearly attest to that fact.
Ultimately then, See You in the Stars is as footloose and fanciful as its handle suggests. When Broudie indulges his instincts, the possibilities can become sky-high.