Capital Lights – Rhythm ‘N’ Moves

By Cimarron Hatch on July-10-2012 | Filed under Reviews | Tags : , , , , , | Share

Capital Lights – Rhythm ‘N’ Moves
Score: 4/5Score: 4/5Score: 4/5Score: 4/5Score: 4/54
3.2 (24 votes)

Artist: Capital Lights
Rhythm ‘N’ Moves
Tooth & Nail
Release Date:
Cimarron Hatch
Buy The Album: iTunes / Amazon / Label


  1. Rhythm ‘N’ Moves
  2. Let Your Hair Down
  3. Caroline
  4. Coldfront Heatstroke
  5. Newport Party
  6. Honey Don’t Jump
  7. Say Hey!
  8. Don’t Drop Dead, Juliet
  9. Hey Little One
  10. Save The Last Dance
  11. Gotta Have Love

The very first time I heard Capital Lights’ song “Outrage” I was hooked on their music. The searing guitars and infectious hooks caught me right away and I’ve been a fan ever since. When they disbanded, I, along with countless other fans, was devastated that there would never be new music from them. Since the rumors of a new album first began, I waited patiently for a new single to be released. When “Coldfront Heatstroke” was first posted online, I listened with high hopes—and was not disappointed. That was the moment my fire for Capital Lights was rekindled.

Capital Lights is a pop/rock band from Sand Springs, Oklahoma. The members of the band are Bryson Phillips, vocals; Brett Admire, guitar; Jonathan Williams, guitars; and Michael Paul Phillips, drums. In 2008, the band released their critically acclaimed debut album This is an Outrage! and then toured the country in support of the album. In 2009, exactly a year and a half after their start, the band played their last show and officially called it quits to pursue individual ambitions and dreams. After each of the members went through seasons in life of earning college degrees, getting married, and just living, they went back into the studio. That brings us up to the present, with the highly anticipated release of Rhythm ‘N’ Moves.

As soon as the first track begins—in true Capital Lights fashion with the title track, “Rhythm ‘N’ Moves,” leading off—you just know the album is going to be good. The song talks about a girl who fits the guy like a puzzle piece: “I’ve got the rhythm; / She’s got the moves, / All tight fits in all the right grooves.” The lyrics make use of the play-on-words we all know and love from Capital Lights to tell the story and create images in our minds. “Let Your Hair Down” starts off acoustic with a clapping beat in the background and piano eventually added. Once it hits the chorus, the song takes off as a poppy dance anthem that reminds me of something by Eleventyseven. Next, “Caroline” talks about a girl who became over-obsessed with the Hollywood lifestyle and lost all sight of reality: She must be dreaming.” The song has a mostly electronic sound to it with a lot of synths and vocal effects, but not anything as harsh as auto-tune that would mask Bryson’s voice.

“Coldfront Heatstroke,” the first single Capital Lights released to the world, comes in as the fourth track on Rhythm ‘N’ Moves. This song has all of the elements that listeners love about Capital Lights’ songs, in this case just happening a bit slower and more subdued than usual—but never, ever, dull. The lyrics of the song are about a rollercoaster relationship where nothing goes right: “She’s a coldfront giving me a heatstroke, / She’s a hit song ending on a weak note, / I go high / She goes low.” Next, “Newport Party” is a dance song about parties in the Orange County area of California: “A Newport party is not a real party till Laguna Beach bodies arrive, / Oh, the Riverside fellas lose their Cinderellas every night Orange County’s alive.” On this song, Bayn, a Tulsa, OK-based rapper joins Capital Lights for a fun rap that even throws in some of Capital Lights’ previous song titles. “Honey Don’t Jump” is an encouraging ballad about a depressed girl who eventually comes to know a relationship with the Lord and then realizes everything really is okay.

Next comes “Say Hey!” which has a bit of a reggae feel, but without all of those terrible sounds that come with reggae, so don’t worry. It’s another song about parties and just having fun out with friends. “Don’t Drop Dead, Juliet” starts out with some cool whistling and acoustic guitar. The lyrics talk about a guy who is neglecting a relationship and begging the girl not to give up on him: “When you fell for me you swore it’d be for life, / Well I’m not dead yet, Juliet.” This song is good and has interesting lyrics, but I was underwhelmed by the vocals because of some awkward falsetto notes. Next, “Hey Little One” is a slow ballad that starts out with a gorgeous piano solo. This song seems to be about lost love, though it’s not completely clear if it’s about a girl, or a child, or both. It is pretty depressing and I really could have done without it on the album. When I think of Capital Lights, I think happy and poppy, but this song does show a sense of maturity from the band.

My favorite song on Rhythm ‘N’ Moves would have to be the second-to-last track, “Save The Last Dance.” This song gives me hope for the future of music. This is a song that would be fun to rock out to at a show (hint, hint, Capital Lights, please tour). I absolutely love the guitar riff in the intro; it reminds me of all of my favorite music from the past few years. I love the lyrics in this song because they’re just pure fun: “Let tonight be the night that the last dance will win you over. / In the final song you’ll get swept off your feet.” Toward the end, there’s even an awesome guitar solo, something most music these days is really lacking. Capital Lights creates a grand finale on Rhythm ‘N’ Moves by enlisting the help of a superstar—former Hawk Nelson frontman, Jason Dunn, whose vocals become the biggest highlight of the final track, “Gotta Have Love.” Jason’s harmonies with Bryson Phillips are also absolutely fantastic. The song is a slow acoustic track with a bit of a folky feel. The lyrics are all about God’s love: “In this world / it’s all about who you know, / And I know someone that’s out of this world.” This song makes for the perfect end to an incredible album.

Overall: Capital Lights is an amazing band—we all know that. But this album shows that they have an unbelievable amount of talent to be able to come back from their hiatus and make such great music. They’ve included all the elements that fans know and love them for, but have also branched out to experiment and try new things. Their lyrics are fun as always, I know I’m not the only one who loves listening to their use of play-on-words with an open ear for their meanings. Their distinctive guitar riffs are exactly what I would expect from Capital Lights, if not better. As always, Bryson’s vocals give the songs an extra-special feel that no other vocalist could match. Rhythm ‘N’ Moves is an awesome new chapter in the life of this band, and whether they choose to disband again, or change their mind and decide to tour after all, I know their fans will continue to support them. Even if you’ve never been a fan of Capital Lights before, I highly recommend checking out this album.

Score: Critically: 4/5, Personally: 5/5.

Capital Lights - Rhythm 'N' Moves, 3.2 out of 5 based on 24 ratings

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About the author Cimarron Hatch

I'm a 20 year old college student in Colorado Springs, Colorado. I am a singer and musician and lover of all types of music. [Email Me!] [Facebook] [Twitter] [Blog] View all posts by Cimarron Hatch

67 Responses to 'Capital Lights – Rhythm ‘N’ Moves'

  1. Brian says:

    Thanks! Great review! I am very excited about this release and was one of those disappointed-but-now-happy-again-fans because of the new album!

  2. jthejust says:

    Great review! Sounds like Newport Party will be my favourite, judging by the clip I’ve heard.

  3. Iaya97 says:

    So excited! Powerpop at its finest.

  4. Great Review!! We’re really happy you enjoyed the record!


  5. Joeshmooga says:

    That “Newport Party” song sounds like it could be taken the wrong way, as in beer/drinking parties or inappropriate stuff at them :(

    • Zac says:

      Alcohol isn’t bad or a sin as this american culture has made it so taboo.

      It’s a matter of being to sensitive to everything. If it is, is that a compromise of their faith? No.

    • I don’t really think the song could be taken that way at all. It really never insinuates anything like that. It’s basically just about all good, clean fun.

    • Ian says:

      The lyrics do not imply that at all. Like… literally…. at all. It could be a kid’s birthday party for all it matters.

  6. Luke Foster says:

    Review is much better than the jesusfreakhidout reviews

    • Dakota says:

      Any review on here is better than JFH reviews lately (they used to be good).

    • Roger says:

      Full disclosure is that I write for JFH, but how did our reviews “used” to be good? What constitutes a review as “good”? I think some definitions are necessary for such a claim.

    • I personally trust their reviews more than just about any other site out there.

    • Brandon says:

      Bummer. More so than us?

    • Dakota says:

      I mean that most writers used to not take everything so seriously. Roger you are one of my favorites, and i don’t mean to offend you at all. I know that honesty is good for a review but you can still be honest and not overly sensitive over certain things. It’s also a matter of opinion, you guys have just had a different opinion then me as of late.

    • Luke Foster says:

      Yeah, typically jfh have good reviews, its just sometimes i get the feeling that they listen to the album once and slap a review on there.

    • Jeremy says:

      I kind of feel the same way about the JFH reviews lately, but I’ve been chalking it up to a generational thing. When John, Scott, etc. did most of the reviews, I felt like they were generally on the same page as my thinking when I heard an album. Lately, I haven’t felt the same way, but that has coincided with a seemingly younger group of reviewers doing much of the music review work.

    • it’s the same as any other site, some writers are better than others. follow the writers you like and disregard the others. same goes for here. I mean all of Scott’s reviews over there are still gold and I’ve got my favorites here.

    • linds4lif says:

      I agree with the JFH reviews 100%, to each their own!

    • linds4lif says:

      **I agree with their reviews on this CD not all of their reviews (just to clarify)

    • Scott says:

      Carter, you make me blush.

      Dakota, it’s not a matter of us taking things so seriously. It’s a matter of people have been more apt to their “I’m entitled to my opinion!” thing out there with less and less concern for the way it makes them look lately. Instead of “I actually really liked this album” it’s been people saying “You guys are completely wrong!” and sadly there’s also been a lot of name calling. That’s what we’re opposed to.

      Brandon, for the record, I always appreciate your reviews here as well. You have a different taste in music than myself sometimes, but you’re always honest and I respect that. I love IVM, brother.

    • Brandon says:

      Thank you Scott for your kind words. It’s awesome that you came here to comment, thanks for that :)

    • Lucas says:

      JFH was the first Christian music site I got into, helped me find half the bands I listen to now, and is still my main go to site for reviews. Though I’m certain I’ll disagree with this one based on the songs and samples I’ve heard, it’s rare that they steer me wrong. I think John, Scott, Roger, and Josh are especially solid. I mean even if I don’t agree with the final score, certain downfalls and high points they mention very often coincide with mine…it’s almost creepy at times.

    • Ha, I didn’t know you commented here Scott.

      I usually generally get along well enough with JFH’s assessments (usually…) and then out of the blue they’ll totally bash an album that I think is really, really fantastic and it will sort of make me rage for a while but I come back eventually.

      While we’re talking about different authors, I suggest everyone pay closer to Fallon Braddy’s reviews. He’s an awesome writer and the stuff he reviews is usually awesome too. Really gritty stuff.

    • Timothy says:

      Oh hey! I didn’t want to be a silent stalker on this thread, and since several of my JFH colleagues have chimed in, I figured I might as well drop by too. I have been reading everybody’s comments, and I appreciate all of them. Including the critical ones.

      Incidentally, I didn’t know there was so much crossover between IVM and JFH readers, which is cool!

    • Robert Paulson says:

      I dont think that you can base an entire sites’ reviews against another considering that both IVM and JFH have multiple writers with varying music tastes. Like most people, I tend to like certain reviews such as Scott’s because we share favorite bands. It just makes sense that I would be biased to such reviews.

      However, I do prefer a fair mix of JFH, CMZ, and IVM. They are all good but each has its own downfall (JFH dosent cover certain mainstream artists, namely paramore. CMZ is a bit too positive on their reviews.) I am just thankful that none of these sites are as bad as the navigational nightmare known as New release tuesday.

  7. Brian says:

    Sad to see a disappoint JFH review. Haven’t heard the whole album yet, so here’s to hoping that it’s as good as Cimmaron’s review indicates!

  8. I’m going to have to agree with JFH on this one, however. imo, Estabrooks’s assessment hit the the nail on the head. not sure what there is to complain about in terms of writing style there as well, even if you disagree, it’s still well written.


  9. scott says:

    I haven’t been on JFH since 2009ish. Definitely disagree with their reviews. This cd is pretty stinkin good. Although I could do without another California song. ;)

  10. I updated this review with links to buy the album. I highly recommend that you do so!

  11. jthejust says:

    This is a fantastic fun-time summer album. Pop music done right. My favs are Let Your Hair Down, Newport Party, and Save The Last Dance.

    • jthejust says:

      And did I mention how catchy this album is? It’s literally impossible for me to listen to Newport Party without singing along (which makes for an awkward bus ride to work).

  12. linds4lif says:

    “but without all of those terrible sounds that come with reggae”

    Hmm, what an interestingly silly thing to say…

    I do not agree with this review to the slightest bit, Capital Lights went radio friendly pop with this album maybe 1 or 2 that I liked.
    Loved their debut album, glad people enjoy them and this cd though so they will stick around for a while this time!

  13. also, who in the world is responsible for the production on this thing? was it at the band’s direction or someone else’s?

  14. fusse says:

    I’m on my first listen now… and my first impressions are like what? Am I listening to Capital Lights or And Then There Were None -album? :D And if this is the same band that did the Outrage…

  15. anberlinFAN says:

    “The band did it all.”

    Aaron Sprinkle’s magic is missed. Going to this album after “This is an Outrage” is like going from a Dodge Charger to a Smart Car.

    • Brandon says:

      I did not notice any loss in sound on this album. I have listened in two different car stereos and my home system and it sounds great. It’s just the pop element some people need to get over.

    • Yeah, I think it’s better when the band does it. Then it turns out exactly how they want it to sound rather than having anyone mess with it.

      With that said, Capital Lights made the album they wanted their fans to hear. I don’t think they were trying to do radio friendly pop at all, I think this is truly how they wanted to sound.

    • Luke Foster says:

      Yeah but Aaron is a genius.

  16. anberlinFAN says:

    “Capital Lights made the album they wanted their fans to hear”

    Some of their fans. :^)

    “I think this is truly how they wanted to sound”

    That’s probably true

    I feel more safe with projects when they are produced by Aaron who associated with many great bands, well, like Anberlin for one thing. (Yes, their last 2 albums didn’t have him, but the next one will). Also, Demon Hunter, The Almost, Fair (lead singer too), Icon for Hire, Dead Poetic, Sent By Ravens, Acceptance, Emery, FM Static, and Mae. I know he can’t produce every album, but it’s nice for the few that do get produced.

  17. SJatcko says:

    I freaking love it! Definitely worth buying in my opinion. I feel its a lot more catchy than This is an Outrage! Its a great summer album for sure

  18. Austin says:

    I guess I’m in the minority, but I thought this album was really bad.

  19. anberlinFAN says:

    I truly think it’s mixed. Some like it, some don’t, and I feel that most are in the middle. They like some of it, but are disappointed. I honestly don’t see how any person who has any interest in music can say that this album comes close the awesomeness of “Outrage”. You can tell it’s the same band, but the energy and powerful rock edge falls flat. The only tune that is like their last album is “Save the Last Dance”. I was hoping this album would tide me over until Anberlin’s next album.

  20. rawkfist777 says:

    Thought I wouldn’t like it at first, and then I actually bought it and listened to it and it was amazing. Well done, Capital Lights.

  21. Lucas says:

    The poppier direction isn’t so bad. In fact I think Capital Lights pulls it off extremely well even though it’s not generally my cup of tea. My biggest issue is it’s still overshadowed by House of Heroes for me.

  22. Joeshmooga says:

    For me, I feel disappointed by this album, though it was not a total and absolute disaster. It did have a few pretty good songs (“Rhythm ‘n’ Moves”, “Caroline”, and “Coldfront Heatstroke”), and some others that I’d consider buying in the future.

    It kinda reminded me of the Sam Raimi “Spider-Man” franchise and the “Mummy” film franchise, when the last installments in each movie trilogy didn’t hold up to their predecessors. In the case of “Spider-Man 3”, they inserted too many independent enemies into one film, and in “The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor”, they recast the second most important character in the trilogy. I was entertained by both movies, but unfortunately, they were lacking from their predecessors. Similarly, I felt that while this album was not a trainwreck, the new “Top 40 pop” elements to it corroded Capital Lights’ work, and so it failed to live up to the standards of album #1.

  23. Taylor says:

    This album seems like it has potential, but it definitely falls short of the debut for me. I have nothing against pop and actually enjoy the genre if it’s done well, but this doesn’t really feel like a true follow-up to “This is an Outrage,” which is slightly disappointing. I think it’s because what I always liked about Capital Lights was their energy (in speed, tempo, lyrics, etc) and this one seems like it lacks energy in most of the songs, with a few exceptions – “Rhythm ‘n’ Moves,” “Caroline,” “Save the Last Dance, and maybe “Say Hey”.

  24. matt says:

    When I first heard this album was coming out, my expectations were sky-high. Then once I saw a few negative reviews, my expectations dropped through the floor. The truth is, the album landed squarely in the middle of those two expectations.

    If you’re expecting anything deep or serious, you’ll be sorely disappointed. If you’re expecting just a fun, poppy Summertime album that gets songs stuck in your head, this is the album for you. They are certainly talented and clever. And I totally agree, this doesn’t come close to “Outrage.” I really like several of the songs (“Rhythm N Moves”, “Coldfront Heatstroke”, “Save the Last Dance”, and “Say Hey”). Several others I find much too poppy and/or boring.

    On a positive side, a couple of the songs were definitely the most Christian stuff they’ve ever done (“Honey Don’t Jump”, “Gotta Have Love”). I’m proud of them for doing this. It’s too bad that those songs are also probably the most boring and cheesiest.

    I’d give half the album 4/5 stars, the other half 2/5. So it gets a 3/5 from me.

  25. anberlinFAN says:

    “My biggest issue is it’s still overshadowed by House of Heroes for me.”

    Not to mention the release of The Classic Crime’s Phoenix next month.

  26. Sam Griffith says:

    For the most part, this is a great pop album! “Newport Party” and “Say Hey!” are both pretty terrible, but if you skip those two songs, the rest of the album is great. It’s definitely worth the money I paid for it.

    Experimentation is not a bad thing for bands to do, but it’s usually the reason for the sophomore slump. In this case, experimentation led to two terrible songs. However, the other nine are good at worst and in other cases, fantastic.

  27. Paul says:

    Good album, was interested in the “rapper” on Newport Party so I checked “Bayn” out, very vulgar singer, wished I hadn’t even looked his page up. Now I can’t listen to Newport Party without thinking of his other stuff and wish they had gone with a different rapper.

  28. Chandler A. says:

    I actually enjoyed this album more than their first one. Only track I really wasn’t a fan of was “Newport Party” had a good beat at first but the chorus was just too boring for me. Best track imo is by far “Let Your Hair Down” that song just won’t let me stop listening to it!

  29. BunnySlippersMan says:

    So…for those out of the loop, is Capital Lights still broken up (like this is just one more album they wanted to put out before saying goodbye) or are they back as a band?

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