Album: Lighthouse Family

Whatever Gets You Through the Day, Wild Card/Polydor
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The Independent Culture

Despite having a repertoire that seems to consist of variations on the one song, the Lighthouse Family have so far managed to buck the law of diminishing returns – sales of their second album, Postcards from Heaven, have apparently outstripped those of their 2.5 million-selling debut, Ocean Drive, by over a million copies. They have not, however, managed to avoid the related law about familiarity breeding contempt, tending to attract the sort of dismissive slights that only the truly bland can inspire. The press release for Whatever Gets You through the Day claims it to be "more organic" and "grittier" than its predecessors, though so minuscule are the supposed differences that they would struggle to register on even the most sensitive of critical equipment, and certainly not on that of one who, like myself, instinctively despises the mealy-mouthed homilies with which the group have all but neutered UK soul music. But if it's homilies you're after, this is the disc for you, stuffed with emollient entreaties to "remember your dream", and "don't think so much", the latter perhaps providing a clue to the duo's unfathomable popularity. The closest the album gets to innovation is the slinky bossa nova flavour of "Life's a Dream"; but the most revealing lyric comes in the equally escapist "End of the Sky", where they ponder a move to a warmer clime: "I don't think there's anything here that I'll be missing, do you?" Not on this evidence, lads.

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