When Lights released her debut album, The Listening, in 2009, she almost seemed like the female equivalent of Owl City: a young adult performing cute, sparkling electro-pop with the assistance of a few synthesizers and a swarm of MySpace fans. She also co-produced the album, whose lush, layered sound sometimes put more emphasis on the production than the music itself. This acoustic EP takes the opposite approach by dialing back the instruments and focusing on Lights’ voice, presenting each song as if it were written for a coffee shop rather than an arena. Stripped of their production, the five tracks show that Lights is a fairly talented songwriter, and the three selections that also appeared on The Listening still fare well in a stripped-down, back-to-basics format. Bonus: Lights tosses a cover of Rancid’s “Fall Back Down” into the mix, proving that she’s not as innocent as her dreamy pop songs might suggest.
AllMusic Review by Andrew Leahey