A New Royal
Posted November 04, 2017
By MarkRyan_NRT, Staff Reviewer
It's been three years since the last release from The Royal Royal. Their newest release, Rococo, is a step forward in the musical artistry of the Canadian duo.
"Rococo music" is defined as an 18th-century reaction against the baroque style. Less formal and grandiose in structure, it was a graceful rather than a profound style, more hedonistic than venturesome. I don't know about the hedonistic part, but the brothers Finochio have definitely moved on from a standard pop sound to something more ethereal, something more graceful.
We are welcomed into the album with the prelude, "I-90." It is here that the tone is set: we will be moving through the album on a journey, rather than merely through a collection of songs put together to tickle the ears of listeners. The prelude mixes seamlessly into "Water." After welcoming and preparing the listener with "I-90," this track welcomes God to the conversation. Although not a typical corporate worship song, "Water" could easily find its place as the opening song in a worship set. The pre-chorus alone could be sung on repeat to fuel a congregation with the simple refrain "Holy Spirit fill me / You are the water / Living, moving, cleansing / You are the water."
My ears sensed something familiar when "Champion" began. It took me a moment to flashback to the 80s and remember, but it was the homage to Toto's "Africa" in the instrumentation that caught me. The album takes a bit of a turn at "God Who Saves" as it moves from the earlier "high-art" feeling to something a little more standard. This is quickly recovered on "Everything," which returns us back on track to more thoughtful lyrics and the production style of the first portion of the album.
The final three tracks on the album, "King," "Perfecter" and "Love 3," focus on the character, spirit and nature of God, each containing incredibly moving sections. Even with the upbeat tempo of "Perfector," the cry of the heart can be heard.
The Bottom Line: On initial listen I was somewhat underwhelmed by the offering set before me. However, further listens proved that The Royal Royal has delivered a project worthy of such a title. In a world filled with so much noise and flourish, a musical landscape filled with so much sameness, Rococo puts the focus back on songwriting and on art.
For Fans Of: Citizens, Kings Kaleidoscope, Hillsong United
Song to Download Now:
"Perfecter" (Get it on iTunes here.)
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