different light is one of the sweetest albums i've ever heard. produced well over a decade ago, it joyfully shuns the disenchanted, manufactured pop gluttony of the eighties, and embraces the innocent melodic effervescence of groups like the supremes and the beach boys, with catchy hooks and stunning throaty vocals. i still think susannah hoffs has one of the most gorgeous female voices ever, but all four female voices blend beautifully here, creating layers of sheer uplifting sound. many people will recognise the infectious 'manic monday and the cheerfully bonkers 'walk like an egyptian'. lyrically, these are two of the strongest tracks, but there are many other treasures. 'september gurls' is a take on the old big star song, proof if any was needed that these girls can really nail a joyful sixties vibe. the happy-sad inflection of many of the melodies - notably 'if she knew what she wants' and 'not like you' - is the thing that i love the most about the bangles. against the playful 'walking down your street', you have the stark chilly echo of 'following' with its haunting layers of vocals. the bangles were the definitive girl band; they played guitar! they wrote practically all their own songs! they had attitude and class! different light is the girls at their most intuitive and fun. i defy anyone not to enjoy this stunning album.
In the synthesiser-dominated eighties, the Bangles (along with a few others) provided a contrast with their guitar-driven rock music - a throwback to the sixties but with an eighties edge. The Bangles recorded a lot of upbeat fun songs so did not always get the credit they deserved. As this album shows, they also recorded some wonderful ballads. This is my favorite original Bangles album. It contains two of the three huge international hits that everybody remembers the Bangles for. Manic Monday is an up-tempo rocker. Walk like an Egyptian is a novelty song that (to some people) destroys their credibility but I love it. This album also yielded two lesser hits, If she knew what she wants (the first single off the album) and Walking down your street. The band wrote most of the songs but Prince wrote Manic Monday, while September gurls is a cover of an Alex Chilton song. Alex originally achieved success with the Box tops but he wrote September furls while he was leader of Big star. Apart from the great songs already mentioned, there are many wonderful album tracks here including Following, In a different light and Not like you. While Susannah sings lead on the big hits, this album proves that they all have outstanding voices as they all get to be lead singer on at least two songs. Anybody who loves guitar rock of the type that was common in the sixties and early seventies will surely love the music of the Bangles.
This is the album that launched the Bangles to superstardom with the singles Manic Monday [written by Prince] and the wonderfully quirky Walk Like An Egyptian, but that is not all, there is not a bad track on this album. Walking Down Your Street, September Gurls and If She Knew What She Wants are all fine tracks. The sound of the album is also great the harmonies are wonderful and the guitars sparkle, the Bangles came up with a string of California bands in the early eighties bands such as Los Lobos, The Long Ryders and Lone Justice this album made The Bangles the most successful of this flowering of sixties influenced bands. For the band there biggest single would be on their next album, but this is their best album, for the band the next album would be followed by a long hiatus before they reformed and they continue to make wonderful sixties influenced pop.
HAD to buy this (again) as I played my original to death. All of the tracks demonstrate the fun, poppy, sexiness of the 4 girls with standout tracks from Prince's Manic Monday, the bizarre short-lived dance craze of Walk Like An Egyptian and the stunning Return Post.
This album plays like a `Greatest Hits' - including four massive hit singles, and all other material here reaching the standard for any subsequent Single release in my opinion! The Bangles definitely `peaked' in their career with this album in the mid eighties - chart-wise, but of course their big number one `Eternal Flame' would come a few years later in 1989!
I like some of these tracks much more than others. It is the only Bangles album I have ever owned and was originally purchased on tape on the strength of 'Walk Like An Egyptian.' Unless you are a huge Bangles fan, this is the album I would recommend to buy if you only want a taste of their music.