Some in-depth reviews
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.
Review by Andy McCann! ! www.aprilaudio.com ! Song Production
I’m sitting here in my music studio and the sunshine is streaming through the window and gently warming my arms. It’s been a long, cold winter but the blue sky above and the sunshine dancing on my desk brings hope. Summertime. Life. Love. Friends. It feels like the perfect day to turn on “The Night Turns To Morning (Remix)” – the latest offering from the Netherlands based artist Martin Lucassen.
You may not be familiar with the name but it’s time you picked up a copy, put it in your car stereo and leave it in all summer.! This 12 track album is a remix of Martin’s debut album that was released in 2015 and, as a music producer myself, it’s hard to believe that this guy only began writing and producing songs less than 3 years ago!! “Beauty All Around” kicks the album off strongly and launches us into images of tulips, sunshine and windmills.
The smooth vocals linger over the sweet electric guitar before drums, bass and ukelele break into some summer time beats that bring memories of Coldplay into my mind. It’s hard to keep the smile off my face with this one.! “These Are The Times” comes up next with a rockier feel and a catchy sing-along chorus “These are the times so get going”.
Martins unique voice really captures your attention and works perfectly with the soaring electric guitar parts that wouldn’t be out of place on a top country song.! “Heart on Fire”, “Do You Want Some Love?” and “Come To Me” all showcase the strong song-writing ability that Martin possesses as well as his fantastic arrangement skills.
Well crafted lyrics mixed with great musical creativity really make this album feel fresh yet also strangely familiar – it won’t take too many listens before you are singing along with all the words!! The album gets a nice acoustic break with “Happy Travellers” that would work perfectly around those campﬁres on the longer summer nights.!
One song that really hit home for me was “I Love You More”. It shows how such an honest, simple song only needs simple instrumentation to really capture a person and grab them by the heart.! If I had to pick a top track from this album it would be a hard choice. “How Will It Be?” sounds like a top track that wouldn’t sound out of place on John Mayer’s next album. Or how about “Love Me Right Now”?
It sounds like a cowrite with the great Ryan Adams and includes some awesome harmonica playing. If I really had to choose….it would be “Love You From Scratch”. This track sounds like a radio hit right from the start – great arrangement, top musicians and a great mix that will keep your head bouncing as your drive down the highway.!
It’s sometimes hard to describe music that doesn’t ﬁt the traditional genres but “Heavenly Alt-Folk” might just work for this fantastic album. Do yourself a favour and get a copy today.
Review by iamchxn, professional music producer/ engineer and A&R for several indie and major labels.
The smooth voice of singer/songwriter Martin Lucassen is an incredible instrument, it was amazing on his original project, “The Night Turns to Morning Light,” and it’s simply brilliant on “The Night Turns To Morning Light (REMIX).” The album is revamped, remixed, and the result is a re-creation of a new sound. The project starts where the original left off, literally. “Beauty All Around,” provides a solid opening, its a little less rock fortified a little more rhythmically enhanced with a classic mellow indie sound.
It’s a little gritty and I have to admit I like that sound coming from Martin. “These Are The Times,” has to be one of my favorite remixes.
Martin’s voice bounces across the industry of guitar driven sound and smooth drum cadences with very little reverb.
The track feels good, like care free easy summers, or smooth drives down the coast. On “Heart On Fire,” Martin’s voice seems to float and flutter over a pop filled rock crescendo, lifted by breezy bass swells.
But don’t mistake the consistent guitar strings for mundane, much like the songs before Martin continues to reinvent an already nervy sound.
“Break The Glass” has a rainy day sound, it’s mellifluous but with enough of a burr to keep your attention, it’s a unique quality that Martin seems to master. “Do You Want Some Love” is a sort of woeful type of beauty, the original had a Beatles meets indie rocker sound, while I do think it still echoes a slight hint of The Beatles influence, the remix is cleaner, mellow, and passionate.
“Happy Travelers,” is a thick reverb heavy guitar with Martin’s vocals streaming seamlessly over it. The slightly acoustic blends give the track a nostalgic feel, reminds me of something British, light layers of extraneous strings create a fantastic sound.
“Come To Me” is another highlight on the remix album. There’s a perfect pairing of vocals and instrumentation here; the band plays with unflinching conviction, Martin’s tone is effortless, the background vocals are crisp, concise and ambitiously passionate. This song is perfectly put together.
“I Love You More,” is romantic thoughts personified, the lyrics are passionate, and pure. In a time when love can appear overrated this song is a perfect reminder that happy endings do exist. Martin’s tone is lighter on the remix, his warm and familiar bravado, is “like coming home.”
While “Love You From Scratch,” is another stand out in a sea of hits. The guitar intro is pure genius. The tambourine, the drums, the vocals, everything about this one is well put together. This is feel good music.
“What You Mean To Me” is like a musical painting, it does more than tell a story it literally paints a picture of emotion, of passion, of happiness, and of heartache. There’s no over the top instrumentation here, it’s pure artistry, it reminds me of classic rock, Martin’s niche for taking a sound and turning it into his own is more than apparent as he glides through the chorus singing, “do you know what you mean to me?”
“How Will It Be” exemplifies Martin’s ability to express diverse range, it’s a blues track, filled with emotional attitude. It’s one of the most relatable tracks on the album.
“Love Me Right Now” is a classic way to wrap up an already solid project. It’s up-tempo, there’s an amazing harmonica ripping through the track, the melody is catchy, and Martin’s vocal tone is warm and passionate. His charisma is palpable, and his talent is relentless. It’s the perfect close to a perfectly orchestrated and well put together project.