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Pop - Released July 5, 2019 | Polydor Records

Having initially disbanded in 2003 and reformed seven years later, the Newcastle pop-soul duo best known for their 1995 smash-hit single "Lifted" now present their fourth album, their first in 18 years. Featuring the upbeat single "My Salvation" -- which combines lush strings, smooth pads, and a funky, danceable rhythm -- the album has all the classic Lighthouse Family elements but with a slick contemporary update. ~ John D. Buchanan
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Pop - Released January 1, 2002 | Polydor Records

Like M People and Simply Red, Newcastle duo Lighthouse Family defied the vicious music press to become one of the most successful acts of the '90s. MOR they may be, but armed with Tunde Baiyewu's rich vocals and a sun-drenched soul-pop sound designed to dominate the airwaves, it's easy to see why both Ocean Drive and Postcards from Heaven sold in the millions. The Very Best Of brings together their 12 singles plus their cover of Bill Withers' "Ain't No Sunshine," album track "End of the Sky," plus two unreleased tracks, and surprisingly, reveals they were a little more adventurous than they were given credit for. Ocean Drive's singles, still staples of radio play lists ten years later, are fine examples of effortlessly chilled soul. The inspirational lyrics and breezy acoustic charms of the title track and "Lifted" instantly transport you to sunnier climates, while the gorgeous jazz-tinged "Goodbye Heartbreak" and "Lovin' Every Minute" sound like a warm bubble bath in audio form. Follow-up Postcards from Heaven wasn't exactly a huge change in direction but did provide arguably their two strongest singles, the Burt Bacharach-inspired "Raincloud" and the uplifting gospel pop of "High." But the dreary "Lost in Space" and the title track are so laid-back they're virtually horizontal, and "Question of Faith" sounded like a group on autopilot. Seemingly buoyed after a four-year break, their third and indeed final album, Whatever Gets You Through the Day, was actually their most inventive. "I Wish I Knew How It Feels to Be Free" is a clever fusion of Nina Simone's track of the same name and U2's "One"; their most club-friendly single, "Happy," mixed '70s disco with the Gallic house of Modjo and Stardust; while the brass-led "Run" wouldn't have sounded out of place on a Groove Armada album. There's nothing on The Very Best Of likely to convert their detractors but its polished production, pop harmonies, and classic songwriting justifiy their position as one of Britain's most popular soul acts. ~ Jon O'Brien