You’ve heard it all before – 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, it’s clear from the very beginning of the first full song on In Flight Radio’s self-titled offering that they are influenced not only by U2 and Coldplay but also by numerous other Britpop bands. It’s 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 album’s first proper track, ‘Come Back And Stay’, with female lead singer Peira’s 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, it’s the album’s best track – the only song with clear radio single potential. It’s got a lovely string backing, a catchy beat and soaring guitars. ‘All The Things’ 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, Peira’s stunning voice again coming to the fore. ‘Pieces’ is a bit more mellow, a sign of things to come. There’s 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 (that’s four quality songs and an intro), it’s easy to gradually lose interest. Devin Krug takes the vocals on ‘Quietly’ and this song is the low point of the album. It’s a typical slow American rock song but his voice really isn’t that appealing here. When he takes the lead again on ‘The Seams’, however, it’s the only highlight of the second half of the album which tails off rather disappointingly.
Overall, it’s the kind of album that’s hard to criticise, yet, at the same time, hard to cover in glorious praise. This is summed up very nicely by lyrics in ‘All The Things’ that state “I wanna be all the things you are to me” – 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 that’s about it. And while this nice music is easy to listen to, you can’t but help get the feeling that In Flight Radio are holding back. There really isn’t anything exciting about it all and this is one band that won’t be taking off just yet.