The moment former Mayday Parade die-hard fans have been waiting for is finally here! Go Radio’s anticipated first full-length album, Lucky Street, lives up to the hype. Former Mayday Parade lead singer/songwriter Jason Lancaster is back with a vengeance; after rousing the interest of his loyal followers for four years, Lancaster and Go Radio finally deliver their highly anticipated LP. The band follows up two groundbreaking EPs with a phenomenal debut release that deserves the attention of anyone looking for an easy-going yet profound listening experience. For those who were disappointed with Mayday Parade’s sophomore album after Lancaster left, look no further. Go Radio brings the same type of musical fervor, emotion and talent found in “A Lesson In Romantics,” which is increasingly difficult to find in the generic category of pop rock.
Each song on Lucky Street brings something unique to the table. The lyrics and meaning behind every track is profound in some way; just ask Lancaster himself. Between Lancaster’s passionately flawless vocal performance, the wide variety of song types that keeps the songs from being repetitive, and the music’s overall enjoyable nature, Go Radio has produced one of the finest rock albums of the year. Keep an eye on this band, there is nowhere to go but up.
“Singing With The King” follows the album’s pleasant title track and upbeat single, “Any Other Heart” with an even more vigorous and memorable song about appreciating life and not worrying about death, even in the face of losing loved ones. Lancaster ardently belts out some of his longest notes, fluctuating perfectly to give it its catchy appeal. Steven Kopacz’s drumming is particularly enthusiastic and when mixed with Reed’s guitar and Matt Poulos’ bass chugging, the track’s zest becomes apparent.
“Swear It Like You Mean It” opens with background “Ooh’s,” and lovely piano that sets the song apart from the rest of the album and immediately catches a listener’s interest. Guitar chugging, rolling drums, Lancaster’s rising and falling vocals and the touch of the piano make for a remarkable song about declining relationship.
“Kill The Beast” picks up the tempo and establishes itself as an authoritative anthem about overcoming adversity and enjoying the ride along the way. The chorus erupts into frenzy of instrumental and vocal activity after a few verses showcasing some funky bass and blaring guitar. This song brandishes Go Radio’s ability to rock out.
“Forever My Father” holds two spots on the album: The first is the revamped version featuring upgraded drum rolls and sweeping guitar that does not include the simple but beautiful piano of the original version. The new rendition utilizes singular notes on the piano for the most part but Lancaster’s vocals grow more intense during the song’s climax for some truly awe-inspiring notes, and overall, the song feels much grander. However, those partial to the raw emotion of the old version will be pleased to find the original is the closer track, featuring Lancaster’s sister, Erin, and his brother, Daniel (lead singer of Stages And Stereos). Whichever you prefer, both versions are beautiful tributes from Lancaster that anyone who loves their father can relate to. Check out this live acoustic performance for a peek at the emotion behind the song.
“Redemption In The Verse” exemplifies the sing-along nature of Go Radio’s strain of alternative rock. Listeners will get into this one, especially when the hopeful refrains of “La-di-da -la, la-di -da-da” kick in, accompanying this anthem’s message of enduring hard times. Lancaster dominates the vocals here while the turbulent guitar and drums give a peek at the band’s ability and love for playing and rocking out their instruments.
Narrowing the notable tracks to just five is incredibly difficult, and trying to pick the best song is impossible, as every song contributes its own flair to the unique blend of Lucky Street. “Why I’m Home” definitely deserves to be included as a stand out track, but many fans may complain it doesn’t measure up to the original version. While the original “Why I’m Home” seems impossible to match, the new version will grow on fans due to the addition of more definitive piano, a string accompaniment and drum roll, as well as another touching and commanding vocal performance from Lancaster.
The rest of the record displays a great range of instrumental influence. From the Spanish horns influence in the stylish “Fight, Fight (Reach For The Sky)” to the moving strings of the powerful ballad, “House Of Hallways,” Go Radio presents fans with a wide array of consistently superb music. Lucky Street is extremely versatile as an album as well. Songs like “Lucky Street” and “Any Other Heart” lend to its alluring nature, while hymns like “The Truth Is” and “Hold On” display the band’s artistry and devotion to their craft. For fans of Mayday Parade, Artist Vs. Poet, The Starting Line, Every Avenue, and Stages and Stereos, Go Radio is sure to strike a chord in a genre where it isn’t easy to be special much less profound.
Final Score: 8.9/10
Rank: 2nd (two total albums)
- Lucky Street
- Any Other Heart
- Singing With The King
- Strength To Say
- Swear It Like You Mean It
- Why I’m Home
- Kill The Beast
- Hold On
- Forever My Father
- Fight, Fight (Reach For The Sky)
- House Of Hallways
- Redemption In The Verse
- The Truth Is
- Forever My Father (Feat. Erin & Daniel Lancaster)