Album Review: Deadlights — s/t
The press sheet accompanying this release had me expecting something a bit more noisy and perhaps less melodic. But Jeff Shelton (he of the Well Wishers) has a seemingly inerrant sense of melodicism, and that shines through regardless of the musical idiom within which he chooses to traffic. Deadlights is nominally dream pop, Britpop and noise rock, the one-sheet tells us. But “Breaking Down” is pure jangly pop, and “Asunder” and “A Better Friend” recall Amazing Disgrace-period Posies. The sound occasionally does get gauzy/heavy, as on “Highways,” but the melodies are there, in the same way that The Jesus and Mary Chain’s Psychocandy wrapped pop melodies in a spiky shell. But sparking pop like “The Knowing” underscores Shelton’s ability to move from style to style in seamless fashion.
About the Author
With a background in marketing and advertising, Bill Kopp got his professional start writing for Trouser Press. After a stint as Editor-in-chief for a national music magazine, Bill launched Musoscribe in 2009, and has published new content every business day since then (and every single day since 2018). The 4000-plus interviews, essays, and reviews on Musoscribe reflect Bill's keen interest in American musical forms, most notably rock, jazz, and soul. His work features a special emphasis on reissues and vinyl. Bill's work also appears in many other outlets both online and in print. He regularly hosts lecture/discussions on artists and albums of historical importance (including monthly events Music to Your Ears and Music Movie Mondays), and is a frequent guest on music-focused radio programs and podcasts. In Spring 2023 he is co-teaching a history of Rock 'n' Roll at UNC Asheville's College for Seniors. He also researches and authors liner notes for album reissues -- more than 30 to date -- and co-produced a reissue of jazz legend Julian "Cannonball" Adderley's final album. His first book, Reinventing Pink Floyd: From Syd Barrett to The Dark Side of the Moon was published by Rowman & Littlefield in 2018, and in paperback in 2019. His second book, Disturbing the Peace: 415 Records and the Rise of New Wave, was published in 2021 by HoZac Books. His third book, What's the Big Idea: 40 Great Concept Albums will be published in 2024. Read even more about him here.