I love pop music, but, like many people who have been brave enough to listen to the radio recently, I am disillusioned by the characteristics songs on the market today: ridiculous lyrics (which isn’t a deal-breaker for me, most of the time), mind-numbingly boring beats, and similar-sounding vocalists. It seems to me that “popular” music has grown accustomed to its prominent place in the modern music market — so accustomed that producers must literally be urging their artists to not come up with something new.
Did anyone really ever doubt Fairfield’s ability to break the mold? No, seriously, was there a single person familiar with the Iowa music scene who thought the pop music market was doomed to produce auto-tuned lyrics alluding to some form of intercourse? Thankfully, Fairfield produced a groundbreaking pop collective in the knick of time.
Trouble Lights, comprised of Adrien Daller’s phenomenal vocals and Philip Rabalais’s innovative and infectious beats, offers pop music fans a much-needed reprieve from some of KISS 107.5’s most recent atrocities. These two are talented musically and in a very practical sense: they know what audiences want to hear on a pop record and what they want to experience at a show.
Normally in my album reviews, I give a general overview of my impression of the record and go into detail with a few songs. I’m not going to do any of that this time, because there’s a much better story I need to tell.
The other night, I began listening to The Endless Prom over a cup of lemon tea in my dorm room. By the time I got to the third track, “Hunting,” one of my friends from across the hall barged into my room and asked me to which Pandora channel I was listening. I spun my laptop around and showed her I was on iTunes listening to a band from a little town in Iowa. She was shocked.
“From Iowa?” she asked.
I uttered a “Hell yeah” and played “Ride This Horse,” my favorite song on the record, for her. She’s been asking me about Trouble Lights almost non-stop since Monday night.
Trust me, The Endless Prom has it. Trouble Lights have proven that all you need for a stellar pop record is talent and a willingness to branch out: huge budgets, glitzy studios, and celebrity producers are irrelevant. Having a random college freshman from upstate New York fall in love with your band at first listen (in a loud dorm in North Carolina, no less) says that just about any fan of pop music can love your work.
This is a record everyone can listen to, drive to, party to, be alive to. This is pop music done right. Quite simply, Trouble Lights have given popular music back to the people, and it feels damn good.