Queensland’s JTR came to prominence following their seventh placing in last year’s ‘X Factor’.
Unable to score a major label deal, they have struck out on their own to produce their debut album ‘Touchdown’.
Their first single ‘Ride’ has yet to see much radio love; surprising given its striking similarity to Hot Chelle Rae’s ‘Tonight Tonight’. Luckily, there’s no shortage of potential radio hits here.
The title track is an obvious highlight with its summer vibe and incredibly catchy chorus. ‘Thinking Bout Ya’ is a cruisy pop/rock moment with a great call-and-response chorus. ‘I’m In Love’ and ‘Save It’ are also pretty good pop/rock tracks that wouldn’t have been out of place on a Jonas Brothers album. Indeed, the Jonas Brothers seems to be the blueprint for this album; the songs are all either about being in love or breaking up whilst staying squeaky-clean.
The cheekiest the JTR boys get is on ‘I Want What I Can’t Have’ with its flirty talking bits in the chorus (which is just ‘I want you baby’ repeated… hardly Miley territory).
The second half of the album is more filler than killer with only ‘Before You Go’ standing out. They do break away from the pop/rock formula for album closer ‘Leave With Me’ which makes for quite a nice ending.
We probably would have liked a bit more variety throughout the record, but they’ve clearly found a sound that works for them.
Overall, ‘Touchdown’ is a strong first effort, especially considering it was independently made. The boys are clearly motivated and not without reason; they know how to craft catchy pop tunes.
Download: Touchdown, Thinking Bout Ya, I Want What I Can’t Have