Album Review: Parade of Lights, ‘Feeling Electric’
Pop radio, by its very nature and way of operating, essentially demands that the listening public take for granted the music that makes it into heavy rotation. It's a strange paradox because, when songs become iconic, we hear them over and over to the point where they become embedded in our memories but, at the same time, the impact of those songs gets watered down -- not unlike how you no longer consciously register the color patterns of the walls in your living space.
The irony here is that, while much pop music requires rigorous attention to detail, it's typically tailored for those details to slip by unnoticed. Los Angeles quartet Parade of Lights make rich, synth-driven music propelled by treated beats and anthemic choruses. Sonically speaking, Feeling Electric sounds huge and fizzy in that way that sparks a sense of instant familiarity thanks to decades of commercial radio. After a brief ethereal intro, once the album begins in earnest it's clear from the outset that Parade of Lights are aspiring to radio-friendly music, but the band's execution reminds us that pop music, at its most elegantly executed, is still an artform after all.
In the lyrical department, Parade of Lights are especially adept at packaging longing as pep-talk. Songs like "Wake Up," "Golden" and "Undefeatable" rally the audience with an almost mantra-like quality. Of course, the choruses swell and create a feeling of being uplifted by the rising tide of the music. For all its synthetic sounds, this album delivers exactly what the title Feeling Electric promises: music that stirs you up and gets you out of your seat and implores you to go ahead and feel something.
And however formulaic the declarations of desire may come off, the album does get across a convincing kick of determination and gusto. It may as well have been titled Feeling Alive.