It’s a story that we can all relate to. The girl in the office, the quiet, conformist one who no one seems to notice. She isn’t the popular one that all the guys try to flirt with, she’s doesn’t stand out, she is just part of the office furniture. But not to you. You see through the business suit and the glasses, you see the beautiful women underneath, you see the warmth and love she carries with her. You see the real person.
It would make a great plot to a movie, actually, it probably has, numerous times, but being such a relatable and heartfelt story, it wouldn’t hurt to do it again. And when someone does, they have the theme tune ready and waiting to go.
In a Different Light is a wonderfully sentimental ballad, a mid-paced mix of countryfied-pop and understated rock, one that runs on gentle beats and slow-burning guitars. But as is always the way with such songs, it lets the lyrics do most of the work, happy to let the singer tell his story, merely framing and underlining the tale as he does.
Rhett Daneka may have come late to the whole rock and roll game but that means that he brings with him too, a whole wealth of life experience and it shows in the crafting of this song. Not just the ability to work with restraint and understatement, leaving space in the song for atmosphere and anticipation to grow and blossom, but choosing more mature subject matters to work with. Whereas many, younger writers, would be chasing the obvious prize, he reminds us that beauty is both in the eye of the beholder and that it is skin deep. That we need to look beyond the superficial and listen to our heart. And so what he gives us is a modern-day romance but one where you are cheering for the underdog.
It’s a cool song, an old-school power ballad reworked for the modern age and the sort of song which will appeal to the rock fraternity and the pop-picker alike, just as likely to be found being blasted out live from a stadium stage as it is from the commercial radio station.
And that is the art of such things. Play to your obvious audience but make sure that it has broad enough appeal to be able to spread its sonic wings too. Fresh but familiar, cultish but commercial…and that’s a neat trick to try to pull off. But pull it off he does.