Now that holiday cheer is out of everyone’s system, it’s time for that overdue batch of wintertime sadness. Acoustic EP is the kind of disc that someone would take off their dashboard and pop into the drive if they were alone in a car at their local mall’s parking lot, waiting for the heater to turn on. Columbus, OH pop punkers, City Lights have prepared acoustic versions of 5 songs from their 2011 full-length album, In It To Win It.
“I Made A Song On Garage Band And All I Got Was This Lousy Record Deal” is a title fit for any pop-punk song. The guitars are easy on the ears, lightly strumming away to soothe the listener. “Trophy Room” doesn’t break from the pop-punk mold, calling out a deceitful girl who doesn’t answer her phone.
Following suit, “Please Let Me Know” contemplates how to avoid real life by not letting go of the past. “What It Takes” presents the crossroad everyone seems to finds themselves in at some point in their life—a road that leads to nowhere.
Unfortunately, the lyrics of these songs don’t have as much punch when City Lights is unplugged. In fact, it sounds like Oshie Bichar is reading an angsty teenager’s tweets out loud instead of breaking down well thought-out and insightful lyrics.
A few examples can be heard in “My Entire Life”, a tune that gently strums the heartstrings. Bichar sings, “I need to see your face, I don’t care how long it takes” and “now that I’ve tasted perfection, nothing could satisfy me.” I’m pretty sure that I have seen variations of these sentences as Facebook statuses by current high school students.
Overall, the instrumentation applied to Acoustic EP is fantastic, but the lyrics take away from enjoying the songs in their entirety. They’re too basic and will never fire up a pit, that’s for sure. City Lights can do better—muchbetter. For a band that has been on the scene since 2008, this is a somewhat unexpected flaw. But with two albums on deck, I guarantee that City Lights will make sure not to disappoint on their next record.