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Peter Hall - Light the Stars

  by Kimberly Bright

published: 18 / 1 / 2022

Peter Hall - Light the Stars
Label: Peter Hall
Format: CD


Finely polished baroque pop fighting to remain positive in the face of life’s difficulties on Peter Hall’s debut album

Nottingham-based singer-songwriter Peter Hall left listeners eager for more after the release of his early 2020 EP 'There’s Something Wrong With Everyone'. On 'Light the Stars', his debut album, he continues the baroque pop that he perfected earlier, playing all the instruments except for Ben Gordelier on drums. Hall is coming to terms with harsher realities on his newer songs, and while the dreaminess of his music still pervades them, there’s a sadness that didn’t seem as pronounced on the previous EP. Through new songs 'Light the Stars', 'Cue Highlights' and 'Dream of the Sun,', he is practically creating a charm to ward off encroaching darkness. Hall faces aging, disappointment, changes beyond our control, and the sort of experiences you have to be a certain age to have, namely watching your industrial hometown fall into decay from its former glory days ('Light the Stars') and running into someone from high school whose life has turned out much differently than their youthful potential once promised, ('Something She’s Not'). He beautifully captures the first terrifying utterance of “I love you” ('Firefly') between new lovers and the need to actively work at maintaining a long-term relationship ('Cue Highlights', 'Two Twenty Two'), all with lush arrangements that don’t bog down the songs. Nostalgia is discouraged, but it’s given leeway on the final song, 'One Last Day,', about the last fading hours of a lonely widow. Nostalgia for specific moments in life is fine, he seems to say, but a general, overromanticized nostalgia for being younger (“Didn’t you learn anything?” he asks), no, thanks. “I don’t want to be young again/I wouldn’t wish it on you… Don’t go back/It’s a trap.” Hall’s earlier single from the album, 'Two Twenty Two', has a beautiful chimey ‘60s guitar and swirling keyboard and strings, telling the story of a couple reliving the night they first danced to a song that lasts only two minutes and twenty-two seconds but changed the course of their lives before it was over. There’s a hint in the lyrics as to what the 2:22 song is by naming its B-side. (Hopefully I won’t get in trouble for the spoiler that it’s 'Love Me Do'). Despite the feeling of impending darkness, Hall is determined to think of better days, dream about sunshine, and find whatever needs to be done to improve a situation, whether it’s a struggling town, industry, country, or a relationship. Just one thing – one kiss, one word – can turn things around. “We can do this,” he sings on 'Light the Stars', and I believe him.

Track Listing:-
1 Save Yourself
2 Firefly
3 Something She's Not
4 Light the Stars
5 Dream of the Sun
6 Two Twenty Two
7 The Best Idea
8 What I Mean to Say
9 Anything at All
10 Cue Highlights
11 One Last Day

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There’s Something Wrong With Everyone (2020)
Breathtakingly impressive debut EP from singer-songwriter Peter Hall

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