Officially released in August 2019, “In The Light”, is the 6th full studio album from Radio Drive featuring Kevin Gullickson. Kevin began recording the album at his home studio in a suburb of St. Paul, MN, late fall 2018, and continued through the winter, emerging in the spring of 2019 with his finished tracks. Kevin plays all guitars, keyboards, bass guitar, and does lead vocals as well as harmonies. He used midi drums as a placeholder, and then connected with Italian drummer, Matteo Andrigo, who recorded the real drum parts in his studio in Italy. All the completed sound files were sent to Grammy nominated engineer, Bryan David of Anthem Recordings, who proceeded with the final mixing and mastering.
The sound of rock and pop gets a face-lift for the 21st century on “In The Light”. Kevin Gullickson’s charismatic and passionate vocal delivery carries this collection of captivating, personal-story songs, based on honest, heart-felt lyrics rich with cathartic emotion.
Anyone who’s felt the emotions of love, loss, affliction and hope will relate to these song which provide a much-needed break from the strictly alternative pack. With its catchy hooks, thoughtful lyricism and great instrumental work, this is a great debut album, if not Radio Drive’s best studio recording to date. There are absolutely no filler or throwaway tracks to be found the nine cuts here.
The album relies heavily on lead and rhythm guitars, as well as being riddled with big cinematic orchestral embellishments, and lush harmonies. “First Time” kicks off the album on a high note. It starts with strong, twangy guitars, setting an upbeat pace for the album with falsetto-driven vocals, theatrical verses and sweeping strings.
“Come With Me” makes a quiet entry before suddenly smashing into a strong electric rock arrangement. This song builds plenty tension and thick harmonic beds. “Moving On” has a typical hand-clapping beat with super catchy lead vocals and the ever-present melodic harmonies, which are delivered through the ever-intensifying chorus sections.
By the time we hit on the warm mid-tempo soundscape of “Life” and the multi layered depth of “Take Hold”, the first thing becomes very clear about this album is that it has been a long time since I have heard an independent recording of such consistently high quality, production-wise.
All and all this is a very sophisticated rock album. “I Have a Voice” slows things down to a slow trot. This is an impacting ballad with an affecting lead vocal and a fiery guitar solo at the end. “One Life to Give” is one of my favorite songs on the album. Forging a powerful spiritual aura, the chorus will stick in your head for days on end.
“What Went Wrong” includes a rich arrangement of orchestral instruments to add to the overall melancholy mood. Kevin Gullickson’s captivatingly high-rising vocals do the rest, to completely pull you in. “Under The Milky Way” highlights nearly everything that Kevin Gullickson and Radio Drive do well, with Kevin giving a both, dark and uplifting vocal performance, while the arrangement creates an ever-building musical environment.
It’s nearly the perfect summation of what Radio Drive does so brilliantly for most of “In The Light” – the song is plain and simply moving. Kevin Gullickson singing matches with a constantly growing instrumental performance to create a world-weary rocker with a face-melting guitar solo thrown in, just to make sure you feel the heat Radio Drive are able to bring.