STYLE: Pop RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 150760-21982 LABEL: Independent FORMAT: CD EP ITEMS: 1 RELEASE DATE: 2014-03-18
Reviewed by Paul Keeble
Kings Kaleidoscope are a band based at America's much talked about Mars Hill church. The album sounds like it has been recorded as live which gives it a nice edge - unusual for American praise-and-worship recordings, but very welcome as it has an energy that can often be slicko-produced out of albums. The band includes a string section and horns, and there is a retro feel which takes me back (a long way back) to the fondly-remembered Liberation Suite (flute on "Higher Throne" and "Felix Culpa" even features a trombone solo!). Opener "Felix Culpa", built around a nice guitar figure, and second track "Seek The Kingdom" are up tempo and third cut "Defender" has a controlled frenzy that reminds me of Arcade Fire. "Fix My Eyes" then brings a nice change of pace with pizzicato strings and is followed by a cover of "Be Thou My Vision" which starts slow and builds into another Arcade Fire-like kitchen-sink-everyone-go-for-it finish. The sudden end didn't work for me though. Closer "Higher Throne" is another slower song which builds with a lovely flute riff and big drums before dropping back to a sparse ending. Musically this is a strong set of songs and a refreshing change to the sub-Delirious?/U2 sound of so many praise and worship recordings. The playing is good and tight and the lead singer has a great voice. Lyrically it's a shame that nothing in the other five songs really comes close to the brilliance of "Be Thou My Vision", sticking instead mostly to another recycling of the usual stock phrases.
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