It seems like 2014 spurned its fair share of international boy band-esque groups from 5 Seconds of Summer to The Vamps. London bred Rixton were also a part of that demographic, but they certainly proved that they were ready to be seen as more than a band that does YouTube covers with their smash hit “Me and My Broken Heart”. However, the release date for their debut album Let The Road was pushed back not once, but twice and let’s just say that’s not necessarily reassuring for the final product.
Let The Road starts off with its a capella-meets-*NSYNC title track and fails to capture the listener’s attention or even get us excited to hear what the rest of the album sounds like. There are a lot of similarities to other artists like Maroon 5 (“Wait On Me,” “Appreciated,” “We All Want The Same Thing”), old school Jesse McCartney (“Beautiful Excuses”), and The Cab (“Speakerphone”), but it’s apparent that they’re unsure of what type of band they ultimately want to be. Throw in an overly cheesy summer track like “I Like Girls,” a forgettable breakup track like “Hotel Ceiling” and end it with ANOTHER ballad like “Whole” and you start to wonder if you put high expectation on the album purely based on one hit song.
Is it surprising that “Me and My Broken Heart” became an international best-selling single? Absolutely not considering that it’s pretty much an altered version of Rob Thomas‘ 2005 single “Lonely No More.” Its follow-up single “Wait On Me” has potential for some some sweet remixes, and I wouldn’t be too surprised if “Speakerphone” turned into a radio hit because of its somewhat danceable beat and relatability to all those times when we call our exes when we’re drunk.
Let The Road is certainly not a horrible album, but I’ve heard better debut efforts than what Rixton has released. Vocalist Jake Roche has a lovely voice, but there weren’t that many “wow” moments in terms of instrumentation or lyrics that really proved that his vocals can soar. Each song seemed perfectly calculated and lacked originality, which doesn’t really surprise me since their main supporter is Ariana Grande. Plus, the band did a HUGE no-no by starting AND ending with a ballad track and, unless you’re a super established artist, it comes across as being a little lazy. Oh well, better luck next time Rixton. At least you’ve got “Me and My Broken Heart” to keep you afloat for awhile.