Review Summary: In Flight Radio play it safe with their sophomore release, and come up with satisfying results.
When I finished listening to "Red Flags", the opening track of In Flight Radio's sophomore album, The Sound Inside, my first thoughts revolved around just how much it sounded like a Cranberries song. Not a later-era, arena filling Cranberries song, but something from Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can't We
. Much like The Cranberries' debut album, the song has a very carefree feel to it, and the dream-pop influence is quite obvious. However, the most impressive similarity between "Red Flags" and Everybody Else is Doing It
is just how fresh it sounds.
Even though the remainder of the Brooklyn band's sophomore release isn't quite as enthralling as "Red Flags", comparisons to early Cranberries material still stand. Peira, In Flight Radio's vocalist, is the centrepiece of this likeness, as her airy singing style resembles that of Dolores O'Riordan's (only without the yodelling, of course). Much like O'Riordan, Peira has a very captivating voice, which she directs the album's direction. "Home" and "Yelling Up to the Sky", two tracks that carry obvious Cranberries influence, both rely on Peira's singing to elevate them to (near) standout status, but even without her talents, they remain entertaining, if at times a little plain. The Sound Inside doesn't solely depend on early-Cranberries-isms however. "Somewhere In Between" is a heavier track that focuses on loud power chords and catchy melodies about as much as it does on Peira. "Just Walk Away" is one of The Sound Inside
's two ballads (the other being the clean guitar driven "Easy Win") and through the soft synth, light guitar distortion, and wistful vocals, In Flight Radio showcases a solemn side to the group's song writing which contrasts the more upbeat style quite nicely.
Other times, The Sound Inside
will drop some Coldplay-esque songs, such as the vibrant "Finish Line", which, among other things, features a bouncy riff courtesy of the band's new guitarist, Saric, as well as a soaring chorus which rates among the catchiest of the album. The Coldplay style songs, represented by the likes of "Finish Line" and "Someday", don't quite top the relaxing dream-pop tracks (especially "Red Flags"), yet in spite of this, they're quite appealing. Overall, In Flight Radio does play it safe with The Sound Inside
, but manage to come up with satisfying results regardless.