King Charles - Love Blood Album Review
King Charles's website boasts: "He doesn't look like anyone you know, he doesn't think like anyone you know" and that "he doesn't make music like anyone you know".
Well, the first statement is true; he looks like a cross between a French duke and a root vegetable growing in a small window garden owned by a character from Channel 4's hit show Made in Chelsea. I don't know anyone like that. And I couldn't possibly comment on how King Charles thinks, having never had the pleasure of meeting the man, but he does make music like other people I know: quite a lot of other people.
Unoriginality doesn't render KC's debut album Love Blood totally obsolete though, not yet anyway. This varied record may not break any boundaries or dispel any cliches (hell, we all indulge in a cliche from time to time), but it does provide thirty-eight minutes of catchy, plinky, fast-paced summer anthems for teenagers to fall in love with and bop along to at one-day music festivals staged on a beach. Beyond that, it struggles.
The first few tracks twinkle along nicely without being remotely inspiring; "I rode along on my bicycle, all the way in the rain" trills the classically trained Charles Costa, a line straight out of any song. By anyone. Ever. The incessantly annoying and previously released track, Bam Bam, then assaults your eardrums in a strange medley of Caribbean afro-punk indie-pop-folk. It's disconcerting and, again, offers nothing particularly new to an already tired spectrum of frivolous trendsetting poplets.
By track six, it becomes painfully obvious that a certain member of the French monarchy-cum-organic beetroot has listened to Paul Simon at least once and is terribly upset that Vampire Weekend got there first - and did it well. It's hard to get on-board with an album when every single song is about pretty girls and the metaphors are veiled so thinly, they're almost subject to grammatical nudity. The whole album is relentlessly and tirelessly trite and, whilst King Charles does his best to portray a semblance of class and poetic prowess, his sole mention of Oscar Wilde does little to achieve this. Instead, what remains is a collection of what seems like hurriedly compiled pop bites written next to a thesaurus.
Incredibly, Loveblood is both brave, ambitious, cowardly and unambitious all at the same time. It's a truly bold move to attempt so many genres in one album but, because every song is wrapped in a prison of vapid lyrics (the keys guarded by an army of angry, adolescent teenagers), nothing comes across but a contrived attempt to write some pretty songs for money and call them art.
Loveblood is a tightly produced indie pop album with experimental twangs and the odd florid burst. It will offer plenty for a short amount of time, but will eventually prove to be an unmemorable entry into the indie folk/pop punk scene.
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