|A Royal Welcome | Posted September 04, 2012
The Royal Royal is a sibling duo made up of Canadian brothers, Gabriel and Nathan Finochio. Having led worship in their father's church from a very young age, these two pastor's kids formed a love of music early on in life.
After heading off to bible collage shortly after graduating high school, the brothers soon discovered their love of songwriting, and while they toyed with the idea of coining a worship project of their own, they admit they were too scared to follow through with it at the time. That was until, they met good friend and Hillsong worship leader, Matt Crocker. Crocker believed in the two and encouraged them to move forward with the idea of an album, even spending a week at their house to help them co-wrote a few songs.
After working on it for a year, Gabriel and Nathan sent the freshly finished project out to a few fellow worship leading friends to get their feedback. Those friends loved the album so much, they ended up sending it to other friends, and those friends to their friends. Before long, there weren't many people who hadn't heard the record, even though it had yet to be made public!
Making friends along the way who encouraged them to release their music to the masses (at least, the masses who hadn't already heard it), the Finochio brothers known as The Royal Royal finally released their debut project, Royal, in mid-2012.
"How Wonderful" starts this album off on a regal edge. The song talks about the beauty and majesty of our God, and although it feels a tad dragged out, is the perfect starter for what is to become a stunning project.
The upbeat and techno inspired "Praise Him" sounds similar to the styling's of Hillsong United, and is sure to be a favorite among the duo's younger crowd. Following it up, is an acoustic rendition of the same song, better fit for more intimate and laid back times of praise.
"Love (Acoustic)" and "Heartbeats (Acoustic)" both come next and stand as acoustic renditions of songs later be heard on the album. It's a rarity to hear an acoustic version of a song before an original, but in this case, it's highly enjoyable, and in a way, gives you the feel of the song from a songwriters perspective before hearing a polished studio rendition.
The delightfully folksy "Savior" is my favorite song lyrically, speaking about the daily transformation we undergo as followers of an almighty Savior, and transitions nicely into another quirky worship tune, "To You."
The original version of "Heartbeats" doesn't disappoint, and from a musical standpoint, sounds like it could be played on alterative mainstream radio. A rarity for worship, but a beautiful one at that.
Finishing on a strong note, "Love" finds us delivering worship to the King in the form of an 80's pop/rock inspired melody. It yet again mirrors the sounds of Hillsong United, but in a fresher and more relevant way.
I'd heard good things about The Royal Royal going into this album, and they definitely lived up to it. Combining passionate spiritual songs of adoration with the fresh sounds of a generation, Royal is a strong beginning in what I'm sure will be a lengthy and highly accredited carrier for the Finochio brothers.
This isn't contemporary worship to say the least and may not be for those seeking something more melodically traditional, but for fans seeking something similar to immerging worship acts like John Mark McMillan, Gungor and Daniel Bashta, you will not want to miss this release.
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