Royal Wood: We Were Born to Glory
I am, for the most part, bored with the whole Singer-Songwriter genre. Likewise, I don’t often find myself impressed with what’s offered on Maple Music’s imprint. And Royal Wood, this week’s person-of-interest kind of reminds me in tone and style of Paul McCartney, the Beatle I think the least deserving of success and adulation.
So you would think that, logically, I would hate the Hell out of Royal Wood’s ‘We Were Born to Glory’. Surprisingly, the exact opposite is true. I am thoroughly enjoying this album, because its music is rife with a sincerity I haven’t heard out of McCartney since he was in Wings. It breathes refreshing energy into a musical style that’s underplayed in this day and age, and it does so without pandering or pretense.
The songs here have a folksy romanticism to them, an optimism that’s not overly cloying and a sense of lyrical timing and poetry that is too good to be fakedand neither ironic, sarcastic nor smug, as the case so often is with much of the Coffee-House Hipster music scene this album will inevitably fall into.
This one is quite enjoyable listening, and it’s a supreme shame that the disc has no metadata for any of the listed songs; the music deserves better than the anonymity imposed on it by this oversight, and for that reason I’m giving it a partial extra credit.
Royal Wood: We Were Born to Glory – 9.5/10
My first impression of this one is that it sounds like the bastard spawn of the worst of 1980s post-New Wave Kitsch Pop and mid-1990’s Sarcastic College Radio Rock. But somewhere around halfway through [Track 2] I find the songs beginning to infect that spastic part of my brainstem that thinks it can dance. My head’s bopping, my knee is popping and I start listening to the lyrics and enjoying their postmodern vernacular.
Tracks  and  are a brilliant pair of songs about lust, love and sexual politics, and [Track 10] is just an exceptional piece of music. Yes, there’s no metadata; particularly egregious given that this is a big-label release. However the songs on this album are so worthwhile that it’s an inconvenience I can put up, so I’m awarding bonus points for artistic merit to make up for the technical fault.
Walk the Moon: Walk the Moon – 10/10
Well, someone’s still doing Screamo because apparently it’s been seven years since they bought a wall calendar. And while Abandon All Ships are very good at what they do, what they do just sounds outdated, now.
The songs here are the standard fare, and there’s nothing that brings anything new to the genre, or the band’s catalogue. Even though I’ve listened to it a few times so far this week, I can’t find anything on ‘Infamous’ to feel enthusiastic about. It’s all too middle of the road. Again the only thing that I find contemptible is the chronic absence of metadata – and once again on a watermarked CD sent out by a big label.
Abandon All Ships: Infamous – 6/10