In the early nineties, RTZ “helped forge a new identity for ex-Boston guitarist Barry Goudreau as well as perpetual Boston member, vocalist Brad Delp” (Vigilione RTZ). “On paper this looked like a huge act” (Vigilione RTZ) with Delp & Goudreau joining forces with “what became Peter Wolf’s band, bassist Tim Archibald from New Man, California Raisins/Robert Ellis Orral drummer David Stefanelli, and keyboardist/songwriter Brian Maes. The latter three are also a self-contained unit known as Brian Maes & the Memory, and they brought a cohesion to RTZ which helped the Boston band refugees deliver the goods” (Vigilione RTZ).
Barry Goudreau first broke away from Boston in 1980 with his solo effort to which Delp lent his vocals. Tom Scholz, the main force behind Boston, alleged that the album sounded too much like Boston. This time out, Delp & Goudreau “were careful with Return to Zero to lean more towards Brad Delp’s pop side, All You’ve Got a perfect example proving Goudreau and Delp a formidable writing team” (Vigilione RTZ). “Goudreau’s guitar bursts…are short and sweet, and combine his masterful playing with a bit of the band Boston’s magical sound” (Vigilione RTZ).
“Definite ‘80s rock, the opening track, Face the Music, could have worked on a latter day Starship album as well” (Vigilione RTZ). “Rain Down on Me is hard hitting without the excess of a Mickey Thomas, or the bombast that Journey tended to overdo” (Vigilione RTZ).
“There’s Another Side is right up there with the opening track, a grade-A effort, only overshadowed by the beauty of the hit ballad Until Your Love Comes Back Around” (Vigilione RTZ), a “Maes original [which RTZ took] into the Top 30 in America” (Vigilione RTZ).
On “most of this disc, the band becomes overpowering, and the material, although exquisite and beautiful, tends to sound dated” (Vigilione RTZ). “The music is big, but controlled, and all involved are cognizant of the ever important pop hook” (Vigilione RTZ). “Chris Lord-Alge's production is straightforward, no nonsense let’s capture this excellent band exactly as they are” (Vigilione RTZ).
RTZ “manufactured a sound and stuck with it, but had these artists thrown a few more elements into this…, they might have been able to penetrate part of the timeless Steely Dan/Beatles marketplace, and not just the arena rock domain they were aiming for” (Vigilione RTZ).
“Perhaps what is truly amazing is that the millions upon millions of fans rabid for a new Boston album didn’t devour this package which, despite its flaws, has a lot to offer. Between the variety of musicians there was an overabundance of good material, and Giant/Reprise, by not fostering a half a dozen or more albums, did the world a great disservice” (Vigilione RTZ). “Yes, it is ‘80s rock in the ‘90s, but if you are in the mood for that style of music, Return to Zero has integrity and will hold your interest” (Vigilione RTZ).