Return of the Kings
Posted March 10, 2014
By SarahFine_NRT, Staff Reviewer
Few and far between are debut albums that carry a sliver of the name-power as Capital Kings' freshman release did back in early 2013. Boasting a mouth-watering combination of bombastic concoctions, the album featured guest spots from some of the industry's most respected talents—TobyMac, Britt Nicole, and Solomon "Soul Glow Activatur" Olds—just to name a few.
Don't think these guys are merely relying on the abilities of others, however. The youthful duo, comprised of lifetime Washington, D.C. friends Jon White and Cole Walowac, can hold their own just fine, and have done so for several years. Previously remix masters and EDM royalty for the likes of many others, their debut unveiled them as vocalists and performers in their own right. This move has more than payed off with a series of successful radio singles and coinciding tours.
Barely a year later, the "kings" of Christian dance-pop have returned yet again, only this time, presenting an EP of remixes that toss the spotlight onto their own music—a welcomed change!
Following in the same chronological order as the original album, the REMIXD project starts with "All The Way (Neon Feather Remix)." It follows along the lines of your typical dance track, but does a wonderful job of restructuring an already solid beat.
"We Belong As One (Family Force 5 Phenomenon Remix)" finds the group teaming up with Soul Glow once again, creating the rare occasion where the remix is actually slightly better than the primary. Opening with some new verses courtesy of Jon on the front end, everything about the song is improved for the better. The cameo spot by TobyMac has been toned down drastically, but somehow, you don't seem to miss it.
A song that initially paired Capital Kings alongside Tauren Wells of Royal Tailor, "Living For The Other Side (Nico Stadi Remix)" is set against a distinctly '90s nightclub beat, and throws in some old school shades of Justin Timberlake's pop side here and there. A bold attempt, it runs well over six minutes, and could have done with some trimming to prevent the song from growing tired.
Staple song "I Feel So Alive" finds itself 'remixd' twice, once in the hands of the acclaimed DJ known as Telemitry (whom you'll find on the tail end of this EP), and again with the "Matthew Parker: U REMIX," which was the winning entry in the duo's online remix contest they held earlier last year.
"Ready For Home (Smile Future Remix)" falls victim to being the weakest offering here, but is quickly redeemed by "Born To Love (McSwagger // Cap Kings Remix)." More emphasis is placed on Britt Nicole's guest vocals, and while it would be an obvious exclusion to remove her voice from the song entirely, I would love to see certain elements of this remix incorporated into the group's live show.
After sitting through a series of recreations, listeners are treated to a new track, current new single "Be A King." Without a doubt, it's the most grandiloquent tune the two have released yet, and highlights an unbelievable amount of maturity in such a short amount of time, while still managing to stick to their electronic roots. If this is any indication as to where this band is headed with their sophomore release, the wait is going to be well worth it.
One of the biggest issues with so many remix projects today is that they are either completely dull and present little-to-no change to the structure of the song, or they are so overproduced, it's frankly, painful to listen to them. There is a very fine line between reconstruction and a remix-gone-wrong. I'm pleased to say that with REMIXD, Capital Kings has fallen along the lines of the better.
With strong moments that heavily overshadow any weak spots, this is a fantastic EP that displays bold artistry, and highlights all the reasons why this band is so unique in the first place. Something tells me this won't be the last series of remixes we hear from this group, and you won't hear me complaining.
Song To Download:
"Be A King"
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