The Radio won much praise for their 2004 debut 'Kindness', a record that put a string section to good use on its gentle and dreamy songs.

Three years on there's been a change of personnel and style, with The Radio now driven by a pop-rock energy and a more in-your-face attitude from new vocalists C Lee Baker and Sue Rose.

While the sextet have also been picking up plenty of plaudits for 'Charm Offensive', for some there will be the feeling that by becoming, well, radio friendlier they've made themselves less interesting in the process.

The charms of opener 'Manmade' are instant, but too often the new sound is too reminiscent of The Chalets and in thrall to the 1990s to really excite. Is it a coincidence that the most memorable track, 'Here in the Motion', recalls that first album?

There's no doubt The Radio will have success with the crowd pleasers here; in a perfect world you'd hope people's kindness would also extend to a certain set of songs from 2004.

Harry Guerin