Lydia - Illuminate
"Cause I stole your soul...you said I'd never be able...but oh the whole world is still on my string."
Leighton Antelman and Mindy White manage to do one thing throughout the sophomore release from Lydia, Illuminate. Most vocalists are able to serenade us passionately and move us, make us feel, make us think. That's easy. I can sing with a voice reminiscent of nails on a chalkboard. And you'd be moved (away from the sound), made to feel mortal agony, and you'd probably think "This guy has an atrocious set of chords." Antelman and White manage to serenade us and I'm riveted. Antelman is grasping onto some niche of human emotion that is not expressed typically and is portraying so vividly, I can feel him next to me as he utters the words I quoted at the beginning of this review. Mindy White, not nearly as well, but noted equally, manages to echo this utterance and the result is bliss.
At this point in the review I'd like to stop and go on a tangent. Illuminate is not the album I was expecting to receive. I think to explain the point I'm trying to convey, it should be noted that I was expecting disappointment. Their first album is nothing short of boring. It doesn't compare in anyway except in name-brand.
Stunning how the evolution occurred. Starting the album is "This is Twice For Now" which brings us to another obligatory acknowledgement. Another aspect of the album requiring mention is the keys. Mindy White's elegance with the blacks and whites adds an element to the album that makes Illuminate what it is.
I could discuss each track on the album and explain why each one notably deserves some sort of award and radio play. "Hospital," featuring Copeland's Aaron Marsh, is yet another shocker. Adjectives range from ambient to raw to pure concerning the track's description. "Fate" is carried on the back of most simplistic bassline that leaves you wanting more. "Stay Awake" is a five minute ballad where Mindy White's performance is just too little and doesn't meet your desire but it still tickles your fancy. And in my opinion, the best track on the album is "One More Day," a track that contains some quelled frustration of Antelman's and leaves nothing to be desired. It's brillant. It's perfect. Mindy White's canoodling climatically carries you into the final chorus of Antelman's:
"Just one more day, just one more (day!!!!!!!)...don't you say that I've gone crazy!...cause I haven't gone crazy yet! (yet! yet!), I haven't gone crazy yet!"
I've been impressed by numerous albums. My record shows that. I've never able to really truly say though (to my recollection) that an album is truly perfect. Illuminate is. I can't find a track worthy of a skip. I can't find a nuance displeasing. I turn through the lyrics and I can almost hear quill scratching. I want to rest now, this album has struck me like a hurricane but with the grace of a gentle breeze.
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on 2008-05-27 DeathEyesForKiley Said:
okay. ill do that for now. if anyone knows where to get a actual cd let me know!
on 2008-05-27 dscanland Said:
Click on the "Buy Now" link above. Doesn't look like it was available as a physical CD, only an MP3 download.
on 2008-05-27 DeathEyesForKiley Said:
where can i get this album?!?!?
on 2008-05-12 X_NaStY Said:
This cd really is pretty good. I didn't like it at first, I actually thought pretty much exactly what Macavennie said, bland and dull. However, after a few listens i found the hidden beauty in it. I like "This Is Twice Now" "Hospital" and my favorite is "Stay Awake"
on 2008-05-12 DeathEyesForKiley Said:
Where can i buy the cd? Not the download the actual cd?
on 2008-05-05 Macavennie Said:
Listened to this on the strength of the glowing reviews on this site. Have to say it was not what i was expecting at all and for me and my taste, very disappointing. Although not unpleasant i find Lydia to be immensely bland. dull even. Sorry!
on 2008-05-04 dscanland Said:
Failed to see the implicit brilliance indicated from the above 5 star review. Sure, Illuminate is an album I may listen to from time to time but only feel that it would deserve a 3.5 or 4 at the max.
on 2008-04-25 Symphony Said:
Stay Awake is great.
on 2008-04-16 Smeesan Said:
So, HOLY CRAP! I logged on my page one day and saw this recommendation just popped on there. So I checked them out and damn, I'm glad I did. Lydia is a wonderful, wonderful band that brings so many different feelings and experiences to the table that it's a shame, nay, blaspehmy to not give them your undivided attention. Easily one of my new favorite artists. Their sound is so rich and textured, it's something that you'll just keep coming back to again and again. Highlights - "A Fine Evening For a Rogue", "I woke Up Near the Sea", "Stay Awake", although the whole album is amazing really lacking any filler, every track is awesome. I'm sure this review sounds vague and scrambled, but I'm just beyond excited about this group.