|B.C. Camplight: popular songwriting
made cool... again.
by Helena Cohen
Perhaps I'm shooting myself in the foot. Maybe I'll regret
ever writing this. As a music snob, it's very satisfying to be
aware of an artist that no one else is hip to yet. That's why
what I'm about to say goes against everything I believe in. If
Mass Broadcast has shown us anything, it's that South Jersey
and Philadelphia are packed with plenty of good music. You
simply have to dig a little deeper for it than you would most
other places. That's why it should come as no surprise when I
tell you that the next great popular songwriter walks among
us... a Burt Bacharach for the new millennium, if you will.
On his debut album, "Hide, Run Away", B.C. Camplight
displays a talent which seems to be lacking in most modern
music; the ability to pen a truly strong, thoughtful melody.
One listen to this album can renew your faith in the modern
songwriter. The arrangements, however, are far from
traditional, blending horns, synthesizers, and strings around
his piano-driven songs.
What's more unusual at times, is his lyrical tendency to
gravitate toward the bizarre. "Parapaleejo" seems to
recall romantic feelings for a handicapped girl at the circus,
while the doe-eyed sweetness of "Emily's Dead To Me"
finds our protagonist professing his love for his girlfriend's
All-in-all, it's this combination of the strange and the
familiar which keep the listener coming back for more. What
good would it do to write the same tired love songs that have
been around for years? "Hide, Run Away" feeds my
desire for stories I haven't heard before, without trying too
hard or becoming repetitious. At the same time, this album
reminds me of what a strong pop melody is capable of making me