Life Imitating Life
Youíve heard it all before Ė a band styling itself on the arena rock of U2 and Coldplay turns out a turgid, dull album that comes nowhere near the standard set by those they hope to imitate.
Anyway, itís clear from the very beginning of the first full song on In Flight Radioís self-titled offering that they are influenced not only by U2 and Coldplay but also by numerous other Britpop bands. Itís dangerous territory for the Brooklyn, NY, based band because there are already so many such groups out there that to stand out you have to be something really special. It all looks very promising on the albumís first proper track, ĎCome Back And Stayí, with female lead singer Peiraís voice proving to be not only beautiful but also very powerful. The song ends up sounding like a cross between Dido and The Cranberries. As it turns out, however, itís the albumís best track Ė the only song with clear radio single potential. Itís got a lovely string backing, a catchy beat and soaring guitars. ĎAll The Thingsí is the other stand-out track on the album and when listening to it I could swear that I had The Corrs playing on the stereo instead, Peiraís stunning voice again coming to the fore. ĎPiecesí is a bit more mellow, a sign of things to come. Thereís nothing wrong with it really, but nothing makes it stand out, and unfortunately that is the case with much of the rest of the album.
After track five (thatís four quality songs and an intro), itís easy to gradually lose interest. Devin Krug takes the vocals on ĎQuietlyí and this song is the low point of the album. Itís a typical slow American rock song but his voice really isnít that appealing here. When he takes the lead again on ĎThe Seamsí, however, itís the only highlight of the second half of the album which tails off rather disappointingly.
Overall, itís the kind of album thatís hard to criticise, yet, at the same time, hard to cover in glorious praise. This is summed up very nicely by lyrics in ĎAll The Thingsí that state ďI wanna be all the things you are to meĒ Ė In Flight Radio aspire to be just like their heroes but you get the impression that they will never quite match up. Yes, the whole collection is nice but thatís about it. And while this nice music is easy to listen to, you canít but help get the feeling that In Flight Radio are holding back. There really isnít anything exciting about it all and this is one band that wonít be taking off just yet.