THE NIGHT TURNS TO MORNING LIGHT (REMIXES) Martin Lucassen Review by Mike O’Cull, independent music journalist, www.mikeocull.com
The Night Turns To Morning Light (Remixes) by singer and songwriter Martin Lucassen is smart, Beatle-esque, indie guitar pop done exceedingly well. Lucassen is a fine, capable tunesmith with a smooth, clear tenor voice and he has remixed this, his first record, to be a more personal artistic statement than in its previous form. The songs here are strong enough to stand up to pretty much any treatment, but Lucassen has turned them into sonic candy that satisfies on both the writing and production levels.
Lucassen veers into different flavors on this set, but his voice and melodic sensibility are the common threads that unite those flavors into a cohesive record. “Beauty All Around” sounds a bit like a kinder, gentler U2 fronted by Matthew Sweet with touches of both funk and acoustic guitar. “These Are The Times” is sunny and upbeat pop rock with a soundtrack-worthy chorus. Lucassen displays the kind of melodicism most songwriters fall short of all over this record without breaking a sweat and it’s his most impressive quality. His vocal delivery is calm, similar to Paul Simon, but a little less folksy.
There are no bad songs here or obvious filler and, at twelve tracks, the album is a good length and doesn’t crush under its own weight. Even in this age of one-song downloads, The Night Turns To Morning Light
works as a traditional album when listened to that way. Even at first listen, it’s easy to get pulled into the world these songs create and not want to leave it. It’s a pretty cool place.
Production is crisp and clean, with nothing overpowering the big picture vibes of any songs. The guitars and vocals are particularly well recorded and act as a textural tie in throughout the tracks. Speaking of tracks, other standouts include “Love You From Scratch,” which sounds like a younger and more energetic Squeeze, the lovely folk/rock waltzing of “Do You Want Some Love,” and the mid-tempo fun of “What You Mean To Me.”
It’s very clear that this Lucassen fellow has true pop mastermind potential. He brings together a winning combination of hooks, energy, texture, and boyish innocence that recalls past greats from The Beatles to Crowded House to Roddy Frame and yet hits like fresh air. Fans of intelligent guitar-driven songwriting will find much to like here. The human feel on this is a wonderful switch from the mainstream machine music they call “pop” that often seems inescapable. It would also be wonderful to see Lucassen build a large body of work as tuneful as this release. The musical world is in dire need of some great songs. He certainly has the talent to get himself on the right trajectory to bring his sound to a whole lot of people. Energy, emotion, and craft are what great songwriting is all about, and The Night Turns To Morning Light offers an embarrassment of riches in all three departments.