Another project from Barry Goudreau, the eponymous Return to Zero is easily the best recording from any Boston alumni. Nothing in the music is even slightly innovative, but most of the songs are reliably crafted, feature strong performances, and are backed up with solid production (a sore point on Orion the Hunter and Barry Goudreau). On hand for RTZ was Boston vocalist Brad Delp, as well as keyboardist Brain Maes, formerly a touring member of Orion the Hunter, graduate of the Berklee College School of Music, and composer of RTZ's most popular song, "When Your Love Comes Back Around," an infectious ballad that could fit quite comfortably on any Journey album and that peaked at #16 on the Billboard US Hit chart. Together with Goudreau, Maes also cowrote the album's first single, Face the Music. The album features another nine songs, seven cowritten by Goudreau and Delp. RTZ toured the US in 1991 and 1992 playing versions of Boston's "Long Time" and "Let Me Take You Home Tonight" and appeared on ABC television's live music program, "In Concert." Serious fans of Boston or RTZ might like to have a look around the internet; bootlegs for a few of RTZ's `91-`92 shows are in circulation.
During the band's recording sessions for the first album there was enough material left over for a second album, which Goudreau hoped to release following the `91-`92 tour. But when label Giant Records lost interest, the band lost its contract and quickly folded. After such a solid debut, the band's unreavling must have been a great disappointment to Goudreau and Delp, who for so long struggled under the shadow of Scholz. Goudreau shopped around for a label to market and distribute the second album, titled Lost, but by the time the material was released in 1998 all the band members had moved on to other projects.
Buy this album not for the Boston connection, but because it's well crafted, middle of the road melodic rock.
It's impossible to talk about RTZ without referring to Boston, as Barry Goudreau's signature guitar work and Brad Delp's amazing vocals are dominant in both, and if you like Boston then you'll surely love this CD. For me, the main difference between the two is the tone and lightness of touch; Boston is pure powerhouse rock whilst RTZ is a blend of rock 'n' roll and radio-friendly AOR in a blend that, quite frankly, makes you glad to be alive. Rockers like "There's Another Side" and "Hard Time (In the Big House)" sit comfortably next to easy ballads like "All You've Got" and the quite extraordinary "Until Your Love Comes Back Around". Every track on this album has a character all it's own, making it difficult to pick a favourite although, if pressed, I'd probably choose the superb "Rain Down on Me", because of it's ability to make me feel good regardless of my mood. This is the only RTZ album available, which is unfortunate, because they could easily have stood shoulder-to-shoulder with any of the big arena rock bands and, following the tragic death of Brad Delp in 2007, we'll never see another. In my opinion, RTZ was Brad Delp's finest hour. Buy it - because it's simply brilliant.
The first of two RTZ albums, unfortunately Brad Delp left to return to Boston, which broke up the band. Well worth buying if you like Brads voice and Barry's guitar work. As a Boston fan since 1978 I can recommend this cd.