Rialto - Night On Earth
3 1/2 Stars (out of 5 stars)
Reviewed: January 19, 2002
By Tony BonyataAdding a touch more electronica to their forthcoming sophomore effort Night On Earth, British quartet Rialto, named after the former movie-house chain, still holds firmly to their polished pop sound, steeped in English tea and sympathy.
Mixing elements of some of England's more eclectic artists from the '80s and '90s, such as Morrissey, Pulp, Human League, Blur and the Pet Shop Boys, Rialto have crafted an album that, despite the telltale influences, has a gripping, lasting effect.
From the wonderful tragedy of Morrissey and Pulp's Jarvis Cocker that drips from "Catherine's Wheel" and "Anything Could Happen" to the quirky, shimmering power pop of "Brilliant Fake" and "Idiot Twin," as well as the percolating drum-n-bass rhythm over a majestic chorus on "London Crawling," Rialto proves, above all, that they can craft sumptuous songs with grand, sweeping choruses and melodies that stick to roof of your pate.
While a bittersweet memory of the past is conjured with the aid of a big, ghostly '80s guitar on "Drive," not to mention the pleading, heartbreak vocals on "Shatterproof," vocalist and guitarist Louis Eliot, guitarist and keyboardist Jonny Bull, bassist Julian Taylor and drummer Pete Cuthbert push fast forward on the inventive pop gems "Deep Space," "Anyone Out There?" and the effervescent "Three Ring Circus."
While Britpop heavyweights Oasis flounder as they continue to pick The Beatles' bones dry and Blur has traded in their English pop sensibilities for more experimental, yet still interesting fare, the face of British pop music may just lay in the hands of these four talented lads.
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