(Slumberland Records, out Fri 27 Jul 2018)
With his new “album” Kill the Lights, West Bay native Tony Molina has kept his signature short tracks and infused his style with more of a folky pop sound. Despite the fact that the ten tracks make it just over the fifteen minute mark, it packs in some soothing melodies and multitrack harmonies, making Molina’s newest release a relaxing and enjoyable way to pass the time.
This time around the sounds are reminiscent of The Byrds and The Beatles. The album still has a clear acoustic base, but with distinct electric additions, such as an electric guitar or keyboard. At times, as with the electric solo in Inside Your Mind/Losin’ Touch or the closing guitar solo to Jasper’s Theme, it can overshadow the acoustic root of the song.
One constant throughout the album is Molina’s soothing voice. Tracks like Wrong Town, When She Leaves and Before You Go really emphasise his vocal talents. At times, the use of multitrack harmonies adds to this. It’s a very peaceful album that’s perfect for the continued heat and sunny weather.
The questions arises: can one consider fifteen minutes of music an album, even it is comprised of ten tracks? The average song length on Kill the Lights is just over a minute. It’s become Molina’s “thing” to write short songs and while they are very good, it’s up to listeners to decide if they feel fifteen minutes of content is enough to justify the price of a full length album.
In one sense, this is a great album, but listeners should be aware what they are buying. Fans of Molina will expect such short work but it may be a surprise to new listeners.