Superstar manager Scooter Braun typically isn't known for his clients fizzling out, so it came as a pretty big surprise when UK boyband The Wanted decided to call it quits only months after releasing their latest full-length. However, Braun had another act on deck ready to pick up right where The Wanted left off: the UK quartet Rixton. Rixton arguably does everything The Wanted did and more, and their debut record, 'Let the Road', is excellent proof that they won't be going anywhere any time soon.
'Let the Road' is ten tracks of Top 40 goodness, highlighted by lead single, 'Me And My Broken Heart.' The Rob Thomas-sampled banger made a splash on the charts, reaching as high as number 14, and it's hardly even the most radio friendly song on the album. Tracks like 'Beautiful Excuses' and 'Appreciated' are ripe with big time choruses, while 'Wait on Me' and 'Speakerphone' have some of the best hooks on 'Let the Road'. There's also some heavy Maroon 5 influence mixed in there too, and it makes sense: the majority of the album was produced and written by talents such as Ammar Malik and Benny Blanco - both were responsible for Maroon 5 material in the past.
However, the best parts of 'Let the Road' aren't the fact that the songs are written by established writers - it's that Rixton still manage to have their own identity bleed through every song despite it. Take 'Hotel Ceiling' for instance - the hard hitting ballad penned by Ed Sheeran is still Rixton through and through, even when Sheeran-written songs have the tendency to sound like they came out of his unwanted demo pile.
The band also had a turn in writing their own material too, as the opener and title track is actually completely written by them with no outside help. The result is pretty marvellous: it's a cappella with beautiful harmonies, and vocalist Jake Roche sings like a dream. They link up together yet again on the piano-ballad, 'Whole,' and it's clear that 'Let the Road' is at its best when the songs are crafted by Rixton themselves.
'Let the Road' frustratingly falls victim to the ten track full-length - something in pop music that desperately needs to stop, but this doesn't dwindle the effort in any way. On the bright side, it becomes an album void of any filler, and the album flows together seamlessly. Overall, Rixton are on the right path with 'Let the Road', and they might just have the flair that other boybands have been missing.
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