Tracklist01. The City and the Ghost
02. Waste My Time
03. Ms. Shapes
04. Whole Again
05. Walk With Me
06. Life on Life's
07. Too Late For Us
09. Without You (We Are Everything)
10. Meant to Be
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Bedlight For Blue Eyes is not a group that's content with dwelling on the past. They've gone through numerous line-up changes since their debut album The Dawn hit stores in 2005, all of which have actually changed the band for the better. New vocalist Daniel Rinaldi (who replaced the departed Christian Guerrero in 2006) doesn't try to be his predecessor -- although he sings in a similar soaring style, his voice contains more heart, soul, and passion, which allows the listener to realize that he really has a good time fronting this band; new guitarist Dan Taylor also adds a similar element of rejuvenation and fun to the mix, as he seems more at ease with the genre than original guitarist Justin Ortiz.
With Life on Life's Terms, the band's second album for Trustkill, the band has adapted a much poppier style and all but abandoned the heavy, uneven grandiosity that plagued The Dawn. Each track is bursting with radio-ready flavor and hit-single potential, in part because of the well-crafted guitar hooks of lead guitarist Derek Weber, who also shared the bass parts for the recording process with Dan Taylor (before the recording, original bassist James Granuzzo willfully resigned from the band). The guitars on the record are brought to the forefront thanks to the excellent production of Zack Odom and Kenneth Mount, the team most known for their work on Cartel's Chroma. The versatility of the guitar work throughout the course of the album helps carry the mood of the record nearly as much as the impossibly high vocal register that pops up during the hookiest parts of each song -- the most notable is probably the album's most daring track, "Too Late For Us", which finds the band crafting a modern day pop song from the groundwork laid down nearly thirty years ago by arena-rock heroes Boston. However, the band shines their brightest on perfect-for-radio tunes like "Whole Again", a song whose chorus is so catchy that it seems like it would be a travesty for it not to be all over every music fan's iPod; "Waste My Time", a song that takes the simplicity of a verse-bridge-chorus-verse pop tune and reminds listeners just how alive rock really is; and "Without You (We Are Everything)", the band's (pretty much) only mention of the circumstances involving their former singer's trials and tribulations (the only other mention of the band's past is one line "It's been brighter since The Dawn" in "Whole Again"), which just so happens to be the fastest song on the record, proving that no matter what the tempo, Bedlight can handle it.
While this record does have a lot of positive qualities to it, it's unlikely that the band is going to please the diehard fans who listed The Dawn as the second coming of the messiah (there were plenty, believe it or not). The style changes are a bit too drastic, and there's not much of the gloom-and-doom emo that covered much of their last record. Also, the production might be a little bit too clean for some people, but it was definitely the right move -- the flawlessly perfect production does wonders for the band's obvious desires to be the new kings of pop. Fans of the older stuff also won't appreciate ballads like "Walk With Me" (a song that is only redeemed by the last 1:30) and "Michael", a song which will most likely wet the panties of any girl under 18 but serves absolutely no other purpose.
Time will tell if Bedlight for Blue Eyes can rise to the occasion and be the pop superstars it's obvious they want to be, but the only way they can do that is by gaining exposure and crafting pretty much an entirely new group of fans. The bashing of this album by the Christian Guerrero faithful is imminent, but when it comes down to it, unwarranted. The band is better having gotten rid of the inflated ego that plagued their earlier years, and while there's no denying Christian's voice propelled the band to unparalleled levels, there's also no denying how good of a vocalist Danny is, especially given that at the time of the recording he was barely 18 years old. These guys sound like they're finally having fun and it shows, because Life on Life's Terms is a truly enjoyable pop album that shines on repeat listens. Recommended.