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The Wessex Wire

The Wessex Wire

REVIEW: Billy Joel’s new single explores regret and revisiting the past

“Turn the Lights Back On” is pianist’s first new song in 17 years.
Photo obtained from music video/Columbia Records
After a long awaited break Billy Joel is back with a new single saying “I’m late, but I’m here right now.”

Billy Joel is back to making music after 17 years with his new song “Turn the Lights Back On,” released on Feb. 1. You may have heard Billy Joel from some of his hit songs “Piano Man,” “We Didn’t Start the Fire” or “Scenes From an Italian Restaurant.” Throughout Joel’s career, having sold more than 150 million records, Billy Joel ranks as one of the most popular recording artists in the world. 

Billy Joel reportedly had been struggling with self-deprecating feelings that forced him to take a step back from his music. He constantly pushed himself to work harder because he didn’t realize he already made a successful career in the music business. “Turn the Lights Back On,” he’s said, is a way for him to get back out there and express his love for music again. Through this new song, he was able to bring back his signature sound and announce the next chapter of his story as a musician. 

“Turn the Lights Back On” is a heartfelt ballad that explores the themes of regret and missed opportunities. The song delves into the complexities of a failing relationship and the struggle to salvage what remains. The line “nothing is different, we’ve been here before,” suggests similar problems occurred in the past. 

Billy Joel’s music video displays an array of videos from his past performances compiled through AI. (Photo obtained from music video/Columbia Records)

The chorus expresses a sense of urgency, questioning whether it was too late to repair the damage done. Lines like “Did I wait too long to turn the lights back on?” signify the desire to rekindle the love and connection that once existed.

The piano solo throughout the song serves as a touching breather, allowing the listener to reflect on the emotional weight of the lyrics. It adds a layer of self-analysis and contemplation to the song’s overall mood. The final chorus continues to explore the themes of forgiveness and redemption as well as asking if there is still time to make amends. 

Billy Joel’s emotional vocals and thoughtful lyrics make this song a powerful exploration of love and its challenges.

Behind the Byline
Hailey Raymond, Contributor
Hailey Raymond is a contributor for the Wessex Wire. Her favorite season is fall because Halloween is the best thing to ever exist. If you can't reach her on any platform whatsoever she's most likely ignoring the world with a book in her hand blasting music. FYI movie recommendations are fully welcomed because movies are awesome. Fun Fact: she apparently plays the drums.... I think?
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