Radio Drive - This Is Our Time
The flaws in the production become apparent with the first track, "Rising". The vocals are too clear and the guitar has been heightened to a point where it has become almost tinny. Now that is a real shame for the song is a good one. And Kevin Gullickson, who is Radio Drive, has a talent in both the instrumental and the songwriting departments. Indeed, the album is full of catchy pop-rock numbers with some interesting melodies.
"Borders" has the feel to it of something which would not have been out of place in any of the last three decades of popular music. It is familiar and yet sufficiently different to give the listener the opportunity to experience something afresh. Gullickson has a voice which at times reminds you of any one of half a dozen other, more well-known vocalists, without at any time giving the impression that this is derivative. And it is sufficiently different from its predecessor to contribute to an album which is as diverse as it is well-performed. The impression is strengthened with the decidedly more up-tempo rocker, "Money, You Don't Own Me".
The title track is a mixture of synth pop and guitar rock with a call and response refrain and an impressive dance beat. I can imagine this going down a storm in the Europop clubs of Europe's summer teen holiday spots like Ibiza. The track, probably the best on the album, sets a standard which most of the others ("Light" excepted) manage to live up to, if not exceed. The drumming is a prominent feature and, while at times, it sounds like the dreaded machine, there is clearly enough humanity behind it to give an authentic feel.
Slowing down things, "Life Takes a New Direction" provides Gullickson with the opportunity to display a bit of guitar virtuosity while, at the same time, offering up a track which has probably the most anthemic feel of any on the album. "Two Simple Words" is likewise slower, but with a really good refrain and some simple, yet engaging guitar work melding perfectly with the keyboards, while the album's closer, "Hardwired", is reminiscent of Lenny Kravitz in terms of its rocking guitar.
This is Our Time is certainly an album which has a lot to offer. There is variety and some damn good pop music. Kevin Gullickson has a talent which deserves a wider audience. The only thing which lets it down is the production. Resolve that issue and there is a future here for Radio Drive - if only their music can be got out there!
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