The Head and the Heart always produce fantastic music, and Signs of Light is no exception. Although this album was significantly less folksy than their previous two, The Head and the Heart (2011) and Let’s Be Still (2013), it’s a big step for the band and a change in their overall vibe. Because of the diversity of sounds and genres in Signs of Light, there’s something for everyone in this album. It includes more of a pop sound than previous albums, but songs like “Rhythm and Blues” still maintain some of their older, rustic feel.
At times, the band tries to play up their sound, exaggerating parts of the album and making them sound like many other bands. As The Head and the Heart explore new sounds, they lose that signature, acoustic feel that first defined their self-titled album. Songs such as “Down in the Valley” from The Head and the Heart characterize them as a cozy indie band, and I felt somewhat disappointed hearing some of the new synthetic sounds in Signs of Light for the first time.
Overall, most of the songs were enjoyable. Signs of Light contains ideal music for this time of the year. The lyrics, although catchy, are meaningful and emotive.
There’s plenty of variation in the album. It begins with an acoustic sound, develops into a fast-paced rhythm, and returns to its original steady state. The album was a combination of ups and downs. Some songs like “Dreamer” and “Turn it Around” take a rock approach with a focus on vocals. Others were soothing, like, “Your Mother’s Eyes,” which lulls in a swaying acoustic melody. The album ends with their title track, a soulful, appropriate ending to the album.
Despite The Head and the Heart’s apparent fork in the road, I enjoyed every second of this album. I’m excited to see which path they choose to follow.