Album Review: Illuminate by Lydia

220px-IllunnmIlluminate by Lydia

Record Label: Low Altitude Records

Genre: Indie/Pop/rock

Release Date: September 16, 2008

Songs: 11

Illuminate - Lydia

Lydia is an indie rock band from Gilbert, Arizona that was formed in 2003. In 2010, the band took a year-long hiatus because of a fight that was between Steve McGraw and Leighton Antelman (the two people who started the band). In the end, before their last tour it was announced that Lydia would be breaking up. Luckily, it was only a hiatus instead. Lydia has released five albums-This December, it’s one more and I’m free, Illuminate, Assailants, Paint it golden, and Devil.  Current band members are-Leighton Antelman (Vocals),  Justin Camacho (Guitar) Matt Keller (Keyboard), and Craig Taylor (drums, percussions). Past band members are- Dustin Forsgren (Bass Guitar), Maria Sais De Sicilia (vocals, Keyboard. Now in Bears Of Manitou),Loren Brinton ( Drums),Evan Aranbul (Bass Guitar),Ethan Koozer (Guitar. Now in Gates),Jed Dunning ( Bass Guitar),Mindy White ( vocals, Keyboard. Now in States), Steve McGraw (Guitar. Now in The Saturn Hands).

(My Opinion)

A beautiful rainy day near the sea. That’s what this album brings into my mind. It’s sad yet wonderful and of course this is a masterpiece. With smooth, rhythmic tunes sung with perfect execution by lead singer Leighton Altman and back up vocalist Mindy White. Throughout the album, lead guitarist Steve McGraw shows his talent and experience with large amounts of solos that are each completely different from the other. With so much going on, Lydia masters quite stunningly an expedition of talent and strength. This just might be their best album yet.

Singing back up is Mindy White, although her voice is beautiful, it doesn’t sway me the way that it’s intended to. To me, her voice is a little flat especially with her leading the song, Now the One You Once Loved is Leaving. 

Most songs start off with a lone sound; vocals, a guitar solo, or a piano solo. In my opinion, This is Twice Now and Hospital are the best done. Especially when the whole band suddenly jumps in, in both songs. In song many songs, Loren Brinton excels with his drumming. He keeps pace with the feel of the music, the sound of the songs. Also, the bass played in Fate is absolutely beautiful. It fits with the music but doesn’t get lost in it. With all of that being said, it’s axiomatic that the songs on this album are very smooth and moving. Every musical note fits together seamlessly, maybe even better than December, their debut album (which is really good as well). I especially love how different All  I See. It’s very simple and yet complex with the lone guitar accompanying Leighton and haunting lyrics, All I See Scares Me Cause No One Waits Forever.  

When I saw Lydia back in April, they completely blew my mind, they opened with This is Twice Now and ended the night with Hospital (Which I think they did just because I got everyone in the front and middle to yell Hospital over and over again.) It was their first time headlining in Canada and the show completely sold out. It’s hard to pick out my favourite songs from an album that is so moving like this one because they are all special and unique in their own ways. But I certainly love This is Twice Now, Hospital, All I See, and One more Day and recommend this album to everyone and maybe start this album off with those four songs.

Five Beautiful Treble Clefs
Five Beautiful Treble Clefs

Songs On The Album (Click on the title to listen to the song!)

1. This is Twice Now-3:11

2. A Fine Evening for a Rogue-3:38

3. I Woke Up Near the Sea-3:26

4. Hospital-3:43

5. Fate-3:36

6. Sleep Well-4:25

7. Stay Awake-5:09

8. All I See-5:00

9. One More Day-3:54

10. …Ha Yeah It Got Pretty Bad-1:04

11. Now The One You Once Loved is Leaving-6:38

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