Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Lighthouse Family 'Lifted'

Chart Peak: 4 [originally 61 in 1995]

1995 saw the release of two great Lighthouse Family singles - ''Ocean Drive' and 'Lifted' - strangely, they were only minor hits... It all looks so different in 1996 as 'Lifted' has already become a huge No. 4 hit and people are waking up to their soulful vibes. 
There is of course a video for this song, you've probably seen it. If you haven't, it's on some video sharing sites but the record company have in their infinite wisdom chosen to remove all uploads of it from YouTube. That sort of thing could put me off a track if it wasn't by the Lighthouse Family, whom I already hated.

Call me a grumpy old git, but I have an inbuilt resistance to simplistic positivity. Not that I'm not a fundamentally optimistic soul beneath the curmudgeonly exterior, but I always feel like an upbeat sentiment is something a song has to earn. Don't just tell me things are going to be great, I could tell myself that and if I'm not in the mood to believe me, I'm hardly going to take your word for it either. I can be moved by uplifting songs or other art of course - but they have to make that case themselves, they have to feel like they've experienced the joy, and maybe even the sadness it's saved them from too. Although you could make a theoretical argument that the re-issue of 'Lifted' proves its own point - turning what was a pile of unsold cassette singles in WH Smith after the flop original release into a Top 5 smash - but the track itself is emotionally inert. It doesn't help that the band went on to release a whole series of singles from their first two albums essentially saying the same thing, the repetition inevitably cheapening the sentiment and making it sound more like a commercial choice than an emotional one.

Since I have ceased to be a teenager and, I like to think, become considerably more open-minded (musically at least) since the chart run of this song, I was half-hoping to have warmed to it by now. And it's true that on the odd occasions when I hear it nowadays I don't actually dislike it with anywhere near the same intensity I did in 1996. But the closer listen I've given the track for blogging purposes isn't really what you'd call flattering; I thought I might admire it more even if I didn't like it but the production sounds incredibly cheap and tacky -  especially the drum machine - and the whole thing is even more cloying.

Also appearing on: Now 34, 38, 39, 40, 41, 50
Available on: Greatest Hits

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