Entertain You, Bronze Radio Returns’ sixth album, is an exhilarating and euphoric blend of fresh genres.
Reminiscing upon The Buggles’ 1980 hit ‘Video Killed the Radio Star’, lamenting television usurping radio, Bronze Radio Return is a resurrection of the same nostalgia of the “radio star”; a “star”, indeed, within the Entertain You album cover bearing a constellation connecting different mediums of music such as sound waves, cassette tapes, and a radio to live up to the band name: named after a bronze radio belonging to the father of one of the band members. This is also symbolic for the piecing together of all the pre-released singles over the past few months into one 12-track album. With the belief that visual forms such as film are the new radio, Bronze Radio Return conjures up the excitement brought by the radio into this generation by channelling an abundance of genres for a mass-appeal: synth-pop, roots-rock, folk, and more.
This is also symbolic for the piecing together of all the pre-released singles over the past few months into one 12-track album
‘With Me All Along’, released earlier in January, has a waltzing bass. Its muffled section with drums resemble sounds heard above from a basement house party, using high synthesizer harmonies heard far away and floating as “some blow away in a farewell dust”. This fades into a slower section with guitar before breaking into celebration to the catchy, central focus “you were never gone/You’ve been with me all along”. This is contrasted with the longing-for-open-space vibe within ‘Holding My Breath’ with two layers of vocals – one sounding mechanistic and fighting against each other – that are in parallel to the grungy synthesizers and electric guitar. However, the underlying vocals are removed in most parts to “cut this cord and lose affection”. This song is lyrically about avoiding expectations and “holding” onto breath. Yet, the band puts all its breath and energy back into its music.
Meanwhile their track ‘Temple’ contains quasi-oriental guitar riffs like a two-handed duet coming and going. Yet, Bronze Radio Return’s most strikingly different element is the folky sounds of ‘The Storm’. With finger-picked banjo scuttling like “little drops on my window sill” that are heard when laying alone at night. Yet the catch here is that ‘The Storm’ is figurative as “she is the storm” is opposed to the mediating storm itself. The beginning is like a power cut that later breaks into distorted amplification of deep-rooted emotion with heavy electric guitar and thunderous drums. The band posted an acoustic version of ‘The Storm’ on YouTube which is entirely piano, but still unravels the same stormy breakthrough by showcasing the vocals instead.
‘There Will Be Another’ has a similar sound as it is mainly picked electric guitar, stripping all instruments as there is “no sugarcoating” in the loss depicted. However, there is hope ‘There Will be Another’ and “something new to fall into”, depicting Bronze Radio Return’s defiance. The band’s usual style goes back to reality in the propulsive ‘Ready To Go’, a wishful drag back into Bronze Radio Return’s energetic regime and a wishful awakening after a night of pondering over ‘The Storm’. This is likened to the band itself taking time off to immerse themselves in their song-writing prior to each of their album releases, before throwing themselves back into their “return”. ‘Slow Burn’, ironically, begins fast-paced, yet begs to take things at his own pace. Likewise, so does the band itself, having begun in 2007 they are wishing for a long-lasting career.
The band’s usual style goes back to reality in the propulsive ‘Ready To Go’
‘Daylight’ has more vocal repetitions such as “I do, I do, I do” which are nostalgic to this element also featured their 2015 hit single ‘Light Me Up’. This song contains bare verses with bass and drums that soaks up the sun into volcanic choruses; these “come alive every time” with clapping in unison. Resembling the line “feel it on my skin right away”, this song can be felt right away – like the combination of a ‘Slow Burn’ and ‘The Storm’ in magnetism with each other – with its easy-listening mass-appeal.
Sun-drenched and heart-rate induced, Bronze Radio Return form total energy. Despite contemplating losses and taking its own pace, the band still obtain stamina with their feel-good rhythm and long-distance journey in their non-confined-style.