On their debut album Returned to the Earth, the band Returned to the Earth gives us ten, easily digestible rock tracks. Their music contains a noticeable, and refreshing streak of positivity. It seems that Returned to the Earth are optimists. Optimism, a rare quality in rock, is a particularly unique attribute in the U.K., land of self-deprecation and Morrissey.
I’m not saying the music is cheery. However, it doesn’t incite wrist cutting. Even on songs about heartbreak, Returned to the Earth seems to consistently take the high ground. On the song “Downfall” for instance, they sing “as I stand and watch you sail away, stand tall, don’t fall.” This is a drastic shift from their U.K. predecessors such as The Smiths and Joy Division.
Returned to the Earth consists of three members from Warwickshire, U.K., a landlocked county in the West Midlands of England. Together, they create a smooth and clean-cut rock sound well suited for contemporary rock radio. They are currently signed to the label Rhythm Digital and have already begun recording their second album.
Returned to the Earth takes cues from early 2000’s soft rock bands like Maroon Five and Snow Patrol. They also seem significantly influenced by early Coldplay through their use of poppy melodies and a twinkling keyboard. This keyboard is central to the band’s sound, along with a variety of guitars that pluck at the heartstrings and a pounding drum that keeps tempo like its life depends on it. Although their lyrics remain relatively uplifting, their sound has an air of poignancy and sorrow. Many of the tracks on Returned to the Earth sound like rock ballads written for a friend in distress that needs a word of encouragement.
As a whole, this album is tight and consistent. At times it feels long and perhaps too consistent. A dash of pizzazz and a bit more of the unexpected would allow their sound to stand out a bit more. That being said, Returned to the Earth shows commercial promise through their accessible and positive tunes.
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