THE SOUND OPTION WITH MARCUS HATHCOCK
#5 - Got Them Moves Like Adam
In this week's comparisons column, NRT's Marcus Hathcock looks at Maroon 5 and Christian music newcomers Royal Tailor.
 


We just started this little thing called “The Sound Option,” but we weren’t around last week due to the Thanksgiving holiday. But rest assured, another artist alternative is coming your way now.

MAROON 5 vs. ROYAL TAILOR

Maroon 5 has been a hit-making machine for nearly 10 years now, ever since they burst on the scene with “Harder to Breathe” in 2002. The band, fronted by tenor vocal gymnast Adam Levine, has cranked out rock-meets-funk-meets-R&B hit after hit, with songs like “This Love”, “She Will Be Loved”, “Makes Me Wonder”, “Misery” and the most recent smash, “Moves Like Jagger.”

Levine’s soaring, unique voice also has been featured on a number of hit songs, including “Heard ‘Em Say” by Kanye West, “Wild Horses” by Alicia Keys, and most notably, Gym Class Heroes’ “Stereo Hearts.” Levine’s celebrity has been replenished as of late with the aforementioned “Moves Like Jagger,” and his current stint as a coach on the hit NBC singing competition, The Voice.

Funky beats, catchy hooks and attention-grabbing vocals are the vehicle by which hypersexualized lyrics are transported to listeners’ ears. As Plugged In’s Loren Eaton and Bob Smithouser stated: “These five guys combine guitars, aggressive rock beats and old-school, Michael Jackson-style harmonies. But [their] unique sound is garroted by a thin string of morally ambiguous sexuality.”

If you’re looking for the funky rock, tenor gymnastics and stylistic excellence without the bedroom talk, take a moment to check out Illinois’ own Royal Tailor.

The band rightly describes its sound as “a generous helping of soul... splatter it with bouncing rhythms, blistering guitars, engaging vocals, stellar musicianship and catchy pop melodies that make you want to move--all textured with the truth of God's grace...”

God’s grace is as evident as the musical excellence on Royal Tailor’s GRAMMY-nominated debut, Black & White. I said plenty about this album when I reviewed it earlier this year, but in short: Check it out. You’ll especially draw comparisons to Maroon 5 on songs like “Death of Me”, “Make a Move”, “Hold Me Together” and “Black & White.”

(Fans of OneRepublic will absolutely love “Hope,” and Michael Jackson fans will hear some vocal inflections reminiscent of the King of Pop.)

While Maroon 5’s grooves talk about sex and toxic relationships, Royal Tailor has a more outward focus for the younger generation.

"The overarching message is a call to action," says Royal Tailor songwriter and front man Tauren Wells. "A lot of our songs have to do with being Christ in the world. We want to create a culture where students are doing the ministry. They are creating the ideas. They are dreaming the dream, and then they are actually going out there and doing those things."

MORE SOUND OPTIONS...

NRT Senior Editor Marcus Hathcock has been a newspaper reporter, an editor and now Communications Director for East Hill Church in Gresham, OR. He's also been involved in opera, acappella, a CCM group and now is a songwriter and one of the worship leaders at East Hill. Follow his journey at www.mheternal.com.

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