"Lights On" by Jackie JamesReview
Coming soon from Jackie James will be her Christmas single: "Lights On".
Described by its composer as a "lullaby", it features her six year old granddaughter, Luella (multiplied into a chorus) on backing vocals, which I'm certain makes her the youngest artist I've personally ever reviewed & a record I suspect for the magazine. She certainly seems to have inherited the family talent genes too plus demonstrating unusual confidence for her age.
Christmas singles make me wary to the point of uneasiness when available for review: the curious & reprehensible tendency of writers who don't normally do so to reach for the musical & lyrical cliché bin for inspiration makes it hard to find anything positive to tell you (and I heard a shocker only yesterday). References to sleigh bells particularly perplex me (hands up if you have spotted a sleigh in your street of late).
Thankfully Jackie (as you might have guessed) has stuck to her principles and written a "proper song" without recourse to the conventions: in fact the sound, though I'd agree the lilting, gentle delivery qualifies it as a lullaby, is very contemporary in style (maybe a bit of Electrik Custard influence?): stripped back & snow crystal clear.
The lyrics, though Christmas is referenced, are as much about the turn of the year as materialistic or hedonistic celebration: looking ahead to what is to come & how we might live better lives in the days ahead. The title (which is also the refrain) obviously has meaning in terms of the nights drawing in, but perhaps also symbolises hope and optimism & maybe also the sense of the value of reflection & giving thought to what you might change in your life.