Usually the second-album-syndrome is seen as a sink or swim moment for bands, but for Lights, because of her slow building success, the second album is a bit of a doddle. Thanks to some improvised jams with friends Holy Fuck and guest vocals from rapper Shad, Siberia is a much tougher album with more width and experiment than her debut.
‘Siberia’ and ‘Toes’ feature a more electronic-heavy melodic base but leave room for the sweetness of The Listening. Admittedly, fans of Lights’ singer/songwriter element will be blindsided by the dubstep which pops up in bits and pieces across the album.
Thematically all the usual tropes are still around, such as nature and space with ‘Cactus in the Valley’, the most tender song on the album. ‘Fourth Dimension’ rolls and rumbles with electronic fizz. Lights proved even on her first album that she has a stunning vocal range but has said recently she strove to remove even the slightest bit of auto-tune for this record (not that you would know).
The second half of this album tends slope off a little, peaking in the middle with the excellent ‘Timing Is Everything’, a catchy number but also a clever song which references Mario: “The princess was in another castle.”
Siberia, though, is a mere precipice for Lights; it is now time for her to decide how she wants to be known. She can either be an electronic, dubstep artist or could strip back her work a little more to highlight the strong writing aspect which she grew up with. Though it might be tempting to cash in on the dubstep crossover which is booming right now, it may not have the same longevity that a genuinely natural and organic sound brings.