The band Lit actually started way back in 1988. The were first known as a band called Razzle, then they dissolved and back Stain. They released a demo and signed with a record label in 1995, but there was a problem. The name Stain was already claimed, so they changed their name to Lit. Their debut album was released in 1997 and the rest is history.
The members from the classic Lit era (the late 90’s to early 2000’s) was A. Jay Popoff, Jeremy Popoff, Kevin Baldes and Allen Shellenberger. The would make their first 4 Lit albums together before the line-up changed slightly in later years. The members weren’t the only thing to change as did their sound. They went from this Southern California Pop Punk type sound to more of a Pop Rock beachy feel all the way to Country on their last album. Quite a journey.
I have followed them ever since their 2nd album ‘A Place in the Sun’ all the way until today, but I haven’t enjoyed the entire journey. There have been hits and misses as with most bands. If they continue with the Country sound though, I am pretty much done with them. But until we see what happens, let’s go through their catalog and rank the albums from Worst to First.
And away we go….
THE WORST – ‘THESE ARE THE DAYS” (2017):
For their most recent album, the band has gone Country. I don’t know if they felt their audience had moved to that genre (which I haven’t so the answer is NO for me) or they felt it was a natural progression. Either way, this one didn’t work for me AT ALL!! It felt like chasing a trend. I will agree that their writing has always had the cleverness of a country song with their play on words, but they are not that at heart. And that is the problem…at heart. They are not country so it was authentic or believable. It didn’t work.
That isn’t to say all songs were bad, they weren’t. I did like “Night in the Life”, “Fast” and the final track “Welcome to the Party” which was more in the style of the band I liked even a little Def Leppard sounding. The rest of the songs were okay, just not my cup of tea.
#5 – ‘LIT’ (2004):
Now from here on in, I don’t think you can go wrong. These albums sound like Lit should sound (for the most part, debut an exception). They rocked out, they had ballads, they had a lot of fun. However, this one had more filler and misses than the rest. I would say that is why this is where it is.
It doesn’t mean I didn’t like all the songs, in fact, quite the opposite. I liked more than I disliked. You can’t go wrong with “Too Fast for a U-Turn”, ‘Needle & Thread”, the Cure cover of “Pictures of You”, “Moonshine” and “Looks Like They Were Right”. And I can’t forget the sweetness of “Lullaby” a mostly acoustic track. A very nice ballad. So see, it isn’t all bad, not in the least. Too much filler…really that was all.
#4 – ‘THE VIEW FROM THE BOTTOM’ (2012):
After an 8 year hiatus from their last release, this one came out and reminded me what I liked about Lit. Some really killer tracks and they were gone for far too long. The sound had evolved again, but still enough of their old self to still be Lit. Like the track “Miss You Gone” which had some electronica elements. but the coolest thing is the song is about a lost love that came back and now he misses her gone. Classic!!
That is one thing I love about them is their play on words. Another is “The Wall” about the fact that there is more behind a picture than the wall it is on. It is that kind of writing that I was drawn to. The fun they put in the songs and then add the rock elements and I am sold. Other great tracks are “C’mon”, “You Tonight”, “Same Shit, Different Drink” and “The Broken” to name a few.
#3 – ‘TRIPPING THE LIGHT FANTASTIC’ (1997):
The debut is a very different sounding album for them. It was very punk. It was very raw. It was very out of control. It was as if the band was thrown in a studio and let loose to go wild and crazy. That energy and unrestrained musical hold let them bang out an album that was so full of emotion and it was reflective of a band that was hungry to succeed.
Songs like “My World”, “Explode” and “Habib” showed us many sides of the band and the opening track, “Beginning” gave us the edgier punk sound of the band. A couple songs ended up on other albums, “Bitter” and “No Big Thing”, that aren’t necessarily improved nor worsened. I really liked the out of control feel of this album which it made it so much more fun for me.
#2 – ‘ATOMIC’ (2001):
The band’s third album, my second. It was a continuation of ‘A Place in the Sun’ and still had that California pop punk/pop rock sound. It was a total blast of energy and stuck with me for a long time. The late 90’s early 2000’s were a big transition time in my life as I wen through some difficult times, these two albums got me through a lot of it since they made me feel so good and reminded me why I love music.
From the Opening track, “Something to Someone” to he last “Over My Head”, there wasn’t much that didn’t get me moving or excited. I really dug “Lipstick and Bruises”, “Happy in the Meantime” and “Next Time Around”. The play on words in the lyrics was front and center with “Addicted” as it says “I am so “addicted” to you, you’re such a “dick” to me.” The overall feel was very sunny which I needed in a dark time.
#1 – A PLACE IN THE SUN (1999):
As much as I loved “Atomic”, this one I loved more. It was my first taste of the band Lit. 1999 was me in the middle of my dark time and it helped me start to lift out of it. I had gotten a little away form music and this brought me back in. The sound of the album was sunny. Yes, sunny. It felt bright and happy even though the lyrics were not necessarily so. It made the listening that much more enjoyable.
Songs like “My Own Worst Enemy” and “Down” were full of crunchy guitars. Don’t forget “No Big Thing” and “Zip-lock” as those two kept me smiling and rocking out. As I have mentioned the play on words and “Miserable” has one of the best. With a chorus that says “you made me cum, you made me complete, you made me completely miserable” pretty much summed up the end of my marriage at the time. Now you know why I liked them so much during this time. There was no song on here I would skip, it would play over and over and still gets pulled out when I need a little pick me up.
And there you have it, Lit’s studio albums in order of how I rank them from the worst to the best. Let me know what you think. Where did we differ and where did we agree. What is fun about these list is how differently each album impacts people. What I like, you might not, but we like the same artist and that is all that matters really. And if as a result, you find something new, then my job is done!!!