The Orange Lights are a relatively new band out of Newcastle with connections to both Spiritualized and Lighthouse Family, born when Paul Tucker and Jason Hart met and decided to join forces in seeking an outlet for their music. They describe their sound as ‘a collusion between soul and indie or alternative guitar music’. I don’t even know what that means, and their debut album certainly didn’t clarify the issue. It comes as no surprise that Life Is Still Beautiful, with it’s über-polished sound, was produced by Ken Nelson (Coldplay, Gomez, Snow Patrol). In addition to its glossy production, the album is ballad-heavy, safe, and indeed an utterly lifeless, collusion between soul and indie.

It’s not exactly that the songs are terrible, it’s just that the album is essentially one song ten times on repeat. Each track follows the same formulaic makeup: the mid-tempo strumming of an acoustic guitar, the adequate yet uninspired percussion, and Jason Hart’s whining on about life through annoyingly repetitive lyrics. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat…. The lyrics too are trite and unimaginative: “I’m still trying to find a reason for it all.” Me too, Orange Lights, me too. “Why does it have to be so hard?”; “How long will it take ’til it doesn’t hurt?”; “Why does it have to be like this, all this pointless emptiness?”; How long before you notice you can’t stand it?” Good questions, all. “Tell me what’s the point of my life? Only you can make it alright.” Tell me what’s the point of Life Is Still Beautiful?

Music industry exec Sat Bisla (A&R Worldwide) reportedly dubbed The Orange Lights “one of the best unsigned acts in the world”. If that’s the manner in which record company bigwigs are heralding bands, like The Orange Lights, that are devoid of any lyrical or musical excitement whatsoever, can there really be any question about why the music industry is headed straight down the toilet? At least I can say Life Is Beautiful Again now that I can put this album out of my mind.

The Orange Lights [myspace]