I Wont Follow
The LA based rock group that caught the ear of so many in 2000 with their incredible self titled debut makes their long awaited return four years later with their sophomore effort “Sleepwalker”. In some ways, the new album is a solo effort for front man Jonny Mead, who developed the new material on his own at a home studio, and even self-produced the entire album. From the first single “Fake a Smile” fans may begin to wonder if Radford took a more mellow approach on this record, but from the opening chords of the first track “Therapy (I Don’t Need You)”, it becomes clear that Radford set out to create something truly incredible, again. Taking a different approach, many of the tracks on the album add percussion programming and keyboards to create a dynamic effect that presents a very modern feel, while remaining unique throughout. While many critics will write off the band as another Our Lady Peace sound-alike, just as they did four years ago, those critics will fail to listen closely to the lyrical genius that sets Jonny Mead apart from just about every singer/songwriter in the industry today. His heartfelt delivery on ballads like “Out of the Dark” draw a sharp contrast to the angst filled “Someone Somewhere” and “Easier”, which demonstrates Mead’s remarkable diversity. As amazing as the album truly is, no single song is more remarkable than the closing track “Anything” which in just four short minutes sums up why Radford is simply unparalleled in the music industry today. Perhaps the struggles and pain Mead was forced to endure over the past four years were part of the inspiration behind this incredible record, making it that much more heartfelt. At any rate, Radford’s “Sleepwalker” is without a doubt one of the best new records of the year, and when its all said and done, might outshine its predecessor as one of the most overlooked albums of its time.