I recently received the downloads for Siberia Acoustic (a perk from pre-ordering the CD bundle). There seems to be a lot of negativity towards her collaborations with other artists on this album, so I would like to give my review on every song on the album. I will include the iTunes bonus "Timing Is Everything" and the RDIO (that's how they spell it) exclusive for "Fourth Dimension". Listen to previews of the album here and buy it here, here, here, and here!
This song is a favorite of mine. Although it is very great acoustically, it is pushed back a bit by other songs that shine a bit brighter on this album. The cello in this is very prominent, which I love. Just because it is pushed back a bit by the others does not mean it is bad. I feel that her vocals in this are probably the most impressive (right behind Heavy Rope).
Cactus in the Valley
This song starts off amazing. I'd heard this song before I received the downloads because it was a free preview on Lights' official website. Once Adam Young begins singing, it just annoys me so much. I honestly do not like his voice at all. When he sings on his own, my ears catch fire. When Lights joins him it isn't as bad. When Lights take lead again and he sings background it actually sounds amazing. When the song begins to end and he joins her in the background it sounds incredibly beautiful (2:50 mark). He sounds so much better in the background. But really, I don't hate the song. Lights' singing is amazing and the lyrics are probably the best I've heard in quite a while.
Where The Fence Is Low
Definitely a favorite of mine on the album. I love the original, but this acoustic version is so raw and pure. It's so soft it could almost be a lullaby. Lights sounds amazing in this track. I love how instead of her humming towards the 2:45 mark and the background "ohh's" at the 2:55 mark. After that, her vocals become more raw and beautiful.
Now onto probably the most controversial song on the album featuring Max Kerman of Arkells. Some say his voice doesn't fit the song, but I have to disagree. I like to think of it as two people singing to each other. Why do the two voices have to match? Max sounds wonderful. The simple piano in the background is amazing as well. Max's voice kind of has a dull/sad tone in this song with I absolutely love. It gives the song a sad and loving take. Lights sounds amazing as well and sounds amazing with Max. Arkells had a collaboration with Lights before on their song "Book Club" which I absolutely love.
I'll admit, this was probably my least favorite song on Siberia. I have found to love it on Siberia Acoustic. I love softer songs, and Suspension originally was one of the heavier songs. In Siberia Acoustic, Suspension is lovely. I love how her vocals start of soft and start getting heavier. I love how she completely turned around the lyrics around 2:25 as well.
One of her bigger hits from her last album. It starts off with guitar strums that sounds almost exactly like her song to her sister and her then fiancee, "Jess and Jonny." Toes was originally a song you could definitely dance to but she gave it a complete 180 with the wonderful background guitar and the cello. When she sings "Toes" towards the end it sounds so raw and wonderful. It gets a little rougher towards the end but she returns it to a softer tone, which I love. Her voice goes almost to a whisper and is very relaxing.
Another collaboration that created a bit of controversy for multiple reasons. She collabs with French singer Coeur de pirate. First off, I have to say that this song gets like an 9/10 from me. The only thing that really bothers me is when Coeur de pirate is not singing in French. I know, silly. Onto the controversies- some didn't like Coeur de pirate at all. Others believed that it was actually Lights singing in French, although it specifically states that the song features Coeur de pirate. Others, like me, think she sounds strange when singing in English. As for my opinions on the song, it's a wonderful song (minus Cdp singing in English). It's simple and soft.
Now onto my favorite song from Siberia. How did it do in Siberia Acoustic? AMAZING! I can't get enough of this song acoustically. It starts off with simple guitar strumming then Lights begin's humming and it sounds freaking amazing. Not like anything I've ever heard her sing before. It sounds like something off an Indie song! There's a slight echo to her, which sounds amazing when she sings "somehow, I'm still alone." The simplicity of the song leaves me in awe. How can something so simple be so beautiful? Her singing is probably the best I've heard of her on an album. Her singing at 2:50 is the most beautiful thing I've ever heard. Seriously. Towards the end of the song she becomes a little louder like she really is asking for help. It becomes softer and she ends it with "come bail me out of this" which was not originally the lyric she ended with. It fits perfectly at the end.
Flux and Flow
A song I wasn't too crazy about (in Siberia) but came to love later. I was excited to her its acoustic version and Lights does not disappoint. The guitar and cello in the background in the background fit perfectly. Every time she sings "Flux and Flow" the second time around it surprised me at first and I didn't like how loud it was at first but I've gotten used to it now and love it. It seemed misplaced but I understand why she did it. Flux and Flow was originally one of the rougher songs on Siberia and she probably wanted to keep some of it in.
Repetitive and simple. Is that a bad thing? Not at all. In this case, I absolutely adore it. The strings and piano in the background give it a lullaby, classy feel. I could almost fall asleep listening to this song. It becomes a bit louder towards the 1:50 mark and by the 2:15 mark it's like a new song. Lights' voice in this are very impressive and I can tell she is really singing from her heart.
Timing Is Everything
I was bummed that this song was not included for those who pre-ordered $20+ packages but I didn't mind much. Timing Is Everything was originally one of my favorites from Siberia and I love the acoustic take on Siberia Acoustic. It doesn't lose the fun it originally had but it does gain some more heart, if that makes any sense. When she originally wrote it, she was only dating (possibly engaged already) to Beau Bokan and now she is happily married. I can see her singing this with more heart this time around.
A Rdio exclusive that wasn't included in the pre-orders or iTunes. Again, she changes it so much. The strings in the background are so much fun. The guitar is fun while the cello is soft and almost eerie. Lights' voice is quick paced and makes me like this song more than I did on Siberia.
I hope you enjoyed me review and weren't too pissed off with everything I had to say (really, I only had a couple of bad things to say). I love this album and definitely recommend those who enjoy Lights to buy this and support her. Don't illegally download it, buy it! It's only $9.99 on iTunes or her website. It is available at most music shops for around that much if you want to physical copy. Pre-order packages that included the album or vinyl with a SIGNED Siberia Acoustic poster are not available anymore! Sorry, folks! So glad I bought one and it shipped yesterday.