It’s amazing how the music industry sometimes works. Radford seemed to have had blown their major label chance after being dropped by RCA following the disappointing sales of their self-titled debut. But it was clear that London-born frontman Jonathan Radford Mead had talent, and after shopping new demos, he landed a deal with Universal Records.
Entirely self-written and mostly self-produced, Sleepwalker is an astonishing record. With a sound that incorporates Our Lady Peace, Coldplay and even Brit rockers Suede, the album’s dark vibes and brooding mood are a marked contrast to the summery modern pop-rock of its predecessor.
Opening with the superb, thumping modern rock of “Therapy (I Don’t Need You),” the new sound is immediately evident. Subtle samples and effects are thrown into the mix on the pounding “Dead Heart,” written with such intensity about a former lover, yet still retaining a decidedly melodic edge. The delicate “Fake A Smile” draws those Coldplay comparisons, while “Beautiful” is another impressive, spiky modern rocker written in the aftermath of a broken relationship. “Out Of The Dark” slows down the pace a little and assumes a more optimistic mood. The electronica-rock of “Someone Somewhere” and the beautiful ballad “Anything” close an incredible album in fine style.
Sleepwalker is an intense, powerful album that serves as proof that even in the unforgiving music industry, as in life, there are always second chances.