Headlights, Kill Them With Kindness

Headlights, Kill Them With Kindness

Over the years, the definition of “pop music” has changed dramatically in my eyes. For a long time, I genuinely believed that announcing that pop music was your primary music drug of choice made you appear to have no taste in music whatsoever. Thus, I would clarify my musical love of pop by saying I loved “Britpop” or “indie-pop,” because those qualifiers might somehow make you forget that I was still listening to pop music.

Perhaps my initial misunderstanding of the pop genre stems from the fact that in my formative years I would lump together all subcategories of pop into one big soup bowl. Therefore, admitting I loved The Charlatans was also like admitting I had a thing for Debbie Gibson. Thankfully, I can now clearly see that the two have nothing at all in common. I have been purged of my silliness and can now admit to you, my dear readers, that I am in love with an incredible, new-ish pop band named Headlights.

I adore Headlights and their new LP, Kill Them With Kindness, for the same reason I can’t get enough of bands like The Smiths, Ride, and The Sundays: the band writes the most melancholy, frank lyrics in such a gorgeously poetic way and then sets it to music that makes it feel almost happy. Kill Them With Kindness is stunning from start to finish.

You know you’ve gotten your hands on something incredible when you can listen to the album all the way through without ever needing to or wanting to skip over a song, and Headlights never let me down. Starting the album off with “Your Old Street” was an excellent choice; the combination of Erin Fein’s siren-like voice and Tristan Wraight’s calming and soothing vocals lays the groundwork for the shoegaze-iness of the song. Throw in the gentle lull of perfectly placed string instruments, keyboards, and guitar, and you have the ultimate in pop goodness.

I was simply mesmerized with the maturity of the music. The songs just got better and better as I progressed through the album. Songs like “Lullabies” and “Put Us Back Together Right” exemplify the reasons why good pop music really should be the music for the indie masses: lyrics that let you ponder and relate your own experiences and energetic music that makes the sort-of-sad lyrics fun to dance to and sing along with while driving in your car.

The best thing about Kill Them With Kindness, though, is that it’s a great album to listen to regardless of your current mood. It makes you feel happy, sad, silly, energized, and emotional all at the same time, while also providing you with fine quality music. Headlights has created an album that is not only relatable for a lot of listeners but also one that could very well stand the test of time and be just as good ten years from now as it is today.

[Headlights will be performing in Houston on November 14, 2006 at The Proletariat.]
(Polyvinyl Record Co. -- P.O. Box 7140, Champaign, IL. 61826; http://www.polyvinylrecords.com/; Headlights -- http://www.headlightsmusic.com/)
BUY ME: Amazon

Review by . Review posted Saturday, October 28th, 2006. Filed under Reviews.

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