Bedlight for Blue Eyes

Life on Life's Terms

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Although they are often lumped in with the emo set because of their made-to-order haircuts, tattoo sleeves, and clever moniker (even their chosen record company, Trustkill, where such bands thrive), Bedlight for Blue Eyes are a pop/rock band through and through, as commercially viable as your average Nickelbacks, Daughtrys, or 3 Doors Downs -- only lacking in the major-label money and muscle that would normally guarantee them the same measure of mainstream ubiquity. OK, so their frustratingly frequent personnel turnovers from album to album haven't helped the group's cause, but for their third long-player, 2007's Life on Life's Terms, the New Jersey quartet has arguably crafted its most consistent collection of songs yet, just brimming with big hooks, sparkling melodies, and anthemic choruses -- many of them capable of converting new fans on first listen. What's more, the band shows a real appreciation for '80s rock and AOR on standout tracks like "Waste My Time" and "Too Late for Us," which wouldn't sound aesthetically misplaced on one of those classic old John Mellencamp, Bryan Adams, or Eddie Money records (the jury's out on "Ms. Shapes," which sounds more like Winger!), and yet they may feel utterly foreign to younger listeners. Such listeners will have to content themselves with what token post-hardcore and emo soundbites are sprinkled throughout the album, including a fair share of somewhat forced and clumsy sentimentality on songs like "The City and the Ghost," "Walk with Me," and "Michael." Conversely, they may not be equipped to cope with tunes like "Meant to Be" and the title track, which replace the "me-me-me" mentality with actual third-person lyrics! Terrifying, but take a chance kids: Bedlight for Blue Eyes could teach you a thing or two about disciplined songcraft before they're adopted by the classic rock crowd.

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