Who doesn't love McFly? They know who they are and they stick to what they do best - rocking pop with catchy choruses and perfect-for-air-guitar riffs. Radio: ACTIVE is no different - despite being the first album the boys have released independently. Yes, Harry, Tom, Dougie and Danny have released their fourth studio album on their own Super Records, after having given away an abridged version with The Mail On Sunday back in July. A grown-up move from a newly mature band whose music and lyrics have definitely stepped up a gear, but who manage to retain their dependable pop rock sound that is still just as infectious and smile-inducing as it ever was.
Single, Lies, was a good choice for a first release - it's definitely McFly but there's a touch of Justin Timberlake in there which adds something slightly edgier and grimier and hints at what's to come on the rest of the record that singer/guitarist Tom refers to as their ''definitive album''. You certainly get the sense that they are exploring different paths and influences - the tracks jump from emo ballad, POV, to One For The Radio, which sounds like it could have come straight from High School Musical, to the Blink 182-esque, Going Through The Motions (lyrical highlight: ''because loving you feels like a kick in the balls'' - genius). There are even hints of The Darkness during the falsetto moments of Do Ya, which also manages to sound like it's come straight out of the 60s. You get the feeling that the quiffed quartet had a great time making this record - finally free from the shackles of a record label and able to write the songs that they have always wan! ted to.
Even the titles suggest a triumphant breakout from the murky jail that is the commercial music industry - surely there's some subtext behind Only The Strong Survive, Down Goes Another One and The End. These boys have broken free and produced a record that is true to themselves and what they've always been about, but with a meatier, punchier sound. Oh, and they rock the socks off The Jonas Brothers - ha! --Lizzie Ennever
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