It's always a risk to pick up albums from new artists. The chance that it could be a complete letdown or that it could be the best thing since sliced bread is a gamble not many people want to take. Newcomers for King & Country are no doubt a risk but they're one that might have a surprising outcome in their debut full-length album, Crave.
Opening the album is the beautiful piano-rocker "Light it Up." The soft vocals of brothers Joel and Luke compliment the piano with pure elegance. As the momentum builds, it evolves the track from a soft opener into a pumped pop rock song. "The Proof of Your Love" continues the elegant trend with an incredible string section layered throughout the track. While sometimes strings can feel a little overdone, on tracks like "People Change" and "Love's to Blame" they still remain tasteful and the end result is positive overall.
A great feature of this album is the major influence of 80's euro-pop. "Middle of Your Heart" has the appeal of a dance track while also standing as a fist-pumping anthem. As the brothers sing, "So take me to the middle of your heart. Lead me to wherever your love starts," it's a great reminder of the Lord's passionate love for His people. In addition to that, the passion is translated into the music incredibly. However, "Fine Fine Life" is the prime example of well-executed euro-pop with synthesizer and a killer bass line from start to finish. This track might not be one that many will enjoy because of the falsetto in the chorus sounding almost humorous, but I found it to be really unique and it makes the song a standout track.
There are also wonderful ballads that are placed strategically in the album; some involving their relationship with God and others that are relational love songs. Hands down, the songs that lean more toward their relationship with the Lord appeal more to me and seem to be better written and orchestrated. Nevertheless, the title track, "Crave," which combines relational and holy reverence, is probably the greatest track and a magnificent close to the album. As the fellas proclaim, "Hope is what we crave," it very well might inspire listeners to cling more and more to the Savior.
At first listen, I was honestly expecting something unappealing and typical. I was pleasantly surprised and happily repented of my negative predisposition. The brothers have truly offered a well-crafted album in Crave, and have given listeners something fresh to hear. The lyrics have depth, the music has energy and it is balanced wonderfully. If this is how they begin, I will definitely be craving more fine songs in the future from for King & Country.- Review date: 2/26/12, written by Ryan Barbee of Jesusfreakhideout.com
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