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Shine Bright Baby Spiffs Up its Sound With BEC Debut

  • Christa Banister Contributing Writer
  • 2013 7 Aug
Shine Bright Baby Spiffs Up its Sound With BEC Debut

Artist: Shine Bright Baby
Title: Dreamers
Label: BEC Recordings

The journey from much-beloved independent artist to a burgeoning band with a record deal is often fraught with controversy, especially when longtime fans loved a particular sound. And no doubt, the switch from edgier pop/punk to a more streamlined pop/rock sound will be a source of debate for those who’ve loved the pre-BEC Recordings Shine Bright Baby. Replacing most of that rough-around-the-edges charm with a more radio-friendly bent, it wouldn’t be surprising if some supporters feel a little short-changed or want to cry out “Sellouts!”

Still, while some facets about Shine Bright Baby have changed, others have remained the same. From a lyrical standpoint, Shine Bright Baby is staying true to their mission. By encouraging listeners to seek a “brighter” existence where a relationship with Jesus in the focus, they have the perfect launching-off point for the catchy strains of “Made to Glow,” “The Difference” and “Lumineux.”

While everything on Dreamers is produced to a pop radio level of perfection, including lead singer Emily Irene’s pretty vocals that are auto-tuned to excess at times, Shine Bright Baby’s Dreamers still has a couple of moments that break the mode.

In one of the album’s quieter moments, the worshipful “Love Restores” is a vulnerable, fervent reminder of God’s faithfulness in life’s most challenging moments: "His love restores. His words are true. What this world breaks His hands make new. So do not fear, not anymore. He can heal what is broken and torn."

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And lest anyone forget that Shine Bright Baby has a little rock ’n’ roll menace running in their blood, “The Brave Ones,” which features a guest appearance from Disciple’s Kevin Young and “Overcome” are nods to the band’s grungier roots. While both tracks are a welcome diversion from three-and-a-half minute pop songs, they still seem decidedly out of place on an album of shimmery tracks tailor-made for radio. As accomplished as Shine Bright Baby is, there seems to be a bit of an identity crisis. 

As they move forward, one can only hope that Shine Bright Baby can dream even bigger and find a more cohesive sound that truly suits their musical sensibilities.

*This review first published 8/6/2013

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