Friday, October 3, 2008

We the Kings - We the Kings - 2007

There is absolutely nothing new or original on the debut album by Florida pop-punks We the Kings, and that's entirely beside the point. The question posed by an album like We the Kings is not whether it brings something unexpected to the party, but how well it performs the functions expected of it: sounding good on a semi-popular high school girl's new iPod Nano, over the in-store sound system at Aeropostale, and in the background of ads for the teen-oriented series on The CW. And frankly, it does a pretty excellent job at all three. If the quartet -- they're one of those bands who only go by their first names, which is fine because they really might as well all be called Chad and Kyle -- had been around a decade or so ago, they would likely have been sucked into Lou Pearlman's boy band factory, but it being 2007, the sound of the moment is speedy, crisp power pop with just a little distortion on the guitars and just a little emo hoarseness in the vocals, but with neither getting in the way of the chorus hooks. And for 11 schematic three-minute tracks, that is just exactly what We the Kings deliver: the songs are so superficially catchy that they all bleed into one another with little differentiation, but taken one at a time, tunes like "Skyway Avenue" and "Check Yes Juliet" are so pleasantly inoffensive that the album becomes oddly charming in spite of how blatantly, aggressively market-oriented it all is. This will sound hopelessly dated by the time We the Kings' target audience graduates from high school, as laughable as the Backstreet Boys sound to the teens of 2007, but for the moment, it gets the job done. And what's wrong with that? -AMG

If you like "We The Kings" get it here!

We the Kings - We the Kings - 2007

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