The newest album released by Ra Ra Riot titled Need Your Light has dropped, and I could not be happier. This is the fourth album produced by the Syracuse, New York native band that mixes what was good about their last three albums into one. Full disclosure: I want to have the babies of lead singer Wes Miles (unfortunately for me, fortunate for Wes, that is biologically impossible). Regardless, you’ve been warned – this review may be a bit biased, although I tried my best not to be that biased (BUY THIS ALBUM!).
Ra Ra Riot has been rockin’ my soul since the release of their freshman album, The Rhumb Line. I would describe their first two albums as baroque-pop – a combination of rock and roll mixed with elements of classical music. The band’s last album, Beta Love, departed from the baroque-pop music style and went the way of synth-pop – a form of synthesized pop music. Need Your Light is more snyth-pop heavy, but the majority of the songs have strong elements of baroque-pop weaved into them harkening back to the band’s musical roots.
I consider this album an improvement over Beta Love because the snyth-pop elements do not overshadow the overall make-up of the songs. This album lost the deep bass and the poppy musical tones and exchanged them for mellow beats that are evenly layered with syth and strings. I found this album to be a soothing melody of music that puts your mind at ease as you nod along to the rhythmic tunes. Songs like Water, Foreign Lovers, I Need Your Light, Call Me Out, and others feel like the band’s early work but with clean syth-pop melodies driving the songs to completion.
Upbeat songs like Absolutely and Suckers are peppered throughout the album to give it a well-rounded feel. Probably my favorite song of the album is Suckers – it’s the perfect blend of synth and strings fueled by a rhythmic beat.
Thanks to my Consume Review Repeat compadre, I will be seeing Ra Ra Riot the next time they come through Pittsburgh. If you ever get the chance, go see them play live. They are upbeat, energetic and play they hearts out. Consume Review Repeat gives Need Your Light a 8.5 out of 10 bouncy castles.