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STARific Review: Jeff Bates - Leave the Light On

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Country music fans swooned upon hearing Jeff Bates’ deep sensual voice, serenading "The Love Song" and the undeniably sexy "Long, Slow Kisses" from his critically acclaimed debut album Rainbow Man. After a lengthy lapse, his new album Leave the Light On is ready for release, much to the joy of his adoring fans! The title emphasizes the intention for not keeping any secrets on this album – these twelve songs spare no emotional bearings, running the gamut between sadness and bliss of love lost and found, respectively. It also spotlights diversified misfortunes people experience and how the monotonous daily grind can take its toll on everybody at some point in their lives.

The opening track is a slightly faster version of the ever-popular LONG, SLOW KISSES. This rendition sets the spoken verses against a beautiful melodic structure, and is every bit as effective as the original. Jeff has fun with RUB IT IN, and he will tickle your fancy with his ready-to-have-a-good-time vocal work on the tune! The love keeps flowing in the next three songs, which share a common theme: the art of making love. First up is NO SHAME; like the title suggests, there’s nothing wrong with openly showing some love for the people you love. References to the various tasks of a mechanic throughout HANDS ON MAN are strategically placed to entice intentional thoughts of double entendres. Continuing on with LEAVE THE LIGHT ON, it dishes on bedroom affairs. The hilarious scenarios mentioned in THAT’LL GET YOU TEN will have you wondering What in the world did you get yourself into that for? THE WOMAN HE WALKED ON gets serious in tackling an ongoing problem of today’s world: domestic violence. But, it also puts a positive spin on the song which celebrates finding someone who will honor a loved one for all that he or she is worth. ONE SECOND CHANCE is a pensive ballad that reflects on mistakes made and the devastating aftermath that can result. The following tune makes a much-needed statement about judgement being inflicted upon any given person. Forgiveness is key here – just because certain individuals have a crooked past doesn’t disbar them from being GOOD PEOPLE. Next is I CAN’T WRITE THAT, which takes the concept of writer’s block to a whole new level of creativity. Teaming with Kenny Beard and Billy Yates, the latter being someone who many consider the master of all songwriters, Jeff and company have written a tearjerker ballad that reveals heartbreaks and the avalanching snowball of hurt in their rawest forms. This is, hands down, my favorite song on this album! In WHAT I KNOW, Jeff addresses the various things he knows, after being dumped by a woman and told to go to h*ll. He doesn’t actually go there, of course, but he did go on location to Cowboy’s, in Alabama, to record this track. Though in this song, the tongue-in-cheek lyrics might win just about any heart back, my suggestion is Don’t try it at home! The closer, MAMA WAS A LOT LIKE JESUS, is an ode to a most selfless matriarch. This tune is especially meaningful to Jeff, as it reminds him of his own mother.

The extra time taken to perfect Leave the Light On has put Jeff on top of his game! As a result, this enjoyable album full of true-to-life songs is liable to be a classic for years to come.


Jeff Bates
Leave the Light On
RCA Records
Released April 11, 2006

Jeff Bates


1. Long, Slow Kisses
2. Rub It In
3. No Shame
4. Hands On Man
5. Leave the Light On
6. That’ll Get You Ten
7. The Woman He Walked On
8. One Second Chance
9. Good People
10. I Can’t Write That
11. What I Know
12. Mama Was A Lot Like Jesus

By: Estella Pan

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