Tuesday, February 23, 2016

RIXTON-Let The Road (2015)

ORIGINAL POSTING DATE: February 23, 2016

After a brief road trip back into the awesome 80's, I'm back on the road to my much-coveted boybands of the New Millennium's second decade, the first stop being the British foursome that calls itself RIXTON. For too long had they remained on my backburner after another fellow boyband lover turned me on to them—so long that I'm surprised I hadn't even been smelling them cooking!—so last night I decided would be the night I finally served them and their debut album up on my silver platter. And what a service these RIXTON boys have done to me so far! The very moment they join together in sublime acappella harmony on the mighty opening title track, my immediate thoughts were along the lines of 'wow—I'm gonna keep listening to these guys; they sound great!'. I especially like how each of the boys sing in turn some parts, having equal chances to show off their respective vocal talents. So on further down the road I went until I stopped over at the album's first dance/pop jam, "Wait On Me". Besides the whistle melody and the tight beat, I thought the lyrics were pretty cool, particularly when lead singer Jake Roche sings 'I never wanna be your X-Man; you can go and find your X-Man' (a sudden image of the X-Men from the Marvel Comics superhero universe had swept over me). "Appreciated" is very much a song that my ears appreciated. Such a beautiful song with a pleasant, ride-along flow to it, accented by the sweet guitar melody and the thumping dance beat, plus that same whistle melody that attracted me on the one before. The music gets even more beautiful on "Beautiful Excuses", which I fell in love with the instant Jake's mellow voice and the haunting glow of the song melted into me. 'What makes an angel fall in love? How do you know she's the one?'—a couple of my favorite lines from the main chorus. "Me And My Broken Heart": it's the hit that these RIXTON boys have been recognized before and it was definitely a hit for me! It sounded so familiar to me, Jake's delivery reminding me of something I might've heard by MAROON 5. He's all by himself on this one, which is the first piece of evidence that led me to suspect that he's quickly become the face of the group. So glad the producers decided to give this one the dance remix treatment; the 'Pnau Remix' was added to my 'Energy Mix' playlist before I even finished listening! Love the distorted 'chipmunk' electronic voice effects on the singing of the looped title lyrics and the deep groovy bass line. Excellent choice for the DJ's to put on at a rave club with its mostly-instrumental arrangement! "Hotel Ceiling": here's another gem whose lyrics I also found rather haunting, the songwriter pleading for the girl not to depart from him. Besides that, I liked the marching drum beats that add some majestic punch to the music. My joy ride became on this RIXTON road trip became a thrill on "I Like Girls". Like how it starts off calm and slow with the intimacy of the acoustic guitar and the summertime, feel-goof melody before it shifts to a modern beat with a slight reggae kick. It's simple, it's fun and it's hip—the songwriter surely knows what he likes and I like the sexy lyrics a lot! Except it was waaaaaaaaaaaaaay too short! 'Even though they tease and torture me'&mash;one of my favorite lines from the song, but it may as well have been talking about the song itself, seeing how it teased and tortured me! "Speakerphone" is a lot of fun, too—as just about every dance song is for me, actually. A touch of rock in the lively bounce of the beat adds some intensity while the 'pick up, pick up, I only call when I'm drunk' is one of the catchiest hooks of this whole album. There's a couple of beauties I just couldn't tear my ears away from: "We All Want The Same Thing" and "Whole". Jake demonstrates some versatility in his vocal talents on both of these, showing how high and lofty he can reach all throughout. One delighted me with its bouncy, infectious dance groove while the other includes more of that sublime acappella I enjoyed on then opening title track, their voices melting into me ever so nicely. And the one that made my joy ride complete is "Make Out". Here, all of the boys are joined together again and get straight to the point: 'let's make out'. It's a perfect summertime anthem and an energetic feel-gooder that gets stuck inside your side in no time flat! I've gathered that lead singer Jake Roche may have already become the face of of the group, but let's face it—these RIXTON boys are here to stay for the long road to music stardom:

1. Let The Road
2. Wait One Me
3. Appreciated
4. Beautiful Excuses
5. Me And My Broken Heart
6. Hotel Ceiling
7. I Like Girls
8. Speakerphone
9. We All Want The Same Thing
10. Whole
11. Make Out
12. Me And My Broken Heart (Pnau Remix)

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