KING - We Are King (B)

FINALLY! King has released their long awaited debut album and I’ve gotta say, It’s about freaking time. I’m almost contented at leaving the review at that and posting a few songs for you to listen to but I won’t. I need to get my appreciation for this group out of my system. KING first came into my life in 2011 when they released the wonderful three song single, The Story. Despite its limited length, the album is overflowing with warmth, making it impossible for me not to be instantly wrapped up in it (the build and release on “Supernatural” is just…everything). I couldn’t wait for more. But as fate would have it out I would have to. If you told me back in 2011 that I would have to wait until 2016 before hearing their debut LP I might have gone a little mad. I’m never one to rush an artists process, if it takes you five years to create the product, then it takes you five years. I want to hear what you want me to hear. Though that doesn’t make the wait any easier. Luckily, they’re from the Los Angeles area and performed here quite often so I’ve been lucky to see them a number of times throughout the years. It’s always a breath of fresh air. Their love of making and sharing their music radiates from the stage, which sadly, isn’t as common as you might think. Now, let’s talk We Are King.

The album is everything I hoped it would be. Plain and simple. The sound they created when I first heard them is not only still present but elevated. A nice surprise I wasn’t expecting was the inclusion of extended versions of all three tracks from their first release. I like that instead of taking the easy way and using the tracks as they were, they built on them to give another dimension to the sound. One thing that KING does wonderfully is create a mood, building this feeling that you just want to inhabit. To me, that’s the most important aspect of any record. All too often artists will spread themselves to thin by trying to work with too many vibes and sounds, losing a reliable flow in the process. Here, they know exactly what they’re trying to capture and execute it perfectly. I was instantly reminded of the peace that India.Arie’s Testimony: Vol. 1 - Life & Relationship brought me. Or the care free joy and self reflection that Corinne Bailey Rae’s self titled debut provided. Another thing I love is that We Are King is so sensuous and bright. They create such an inviting atmosphere, I didn’t want to leave. So often artists bypass the lushness of sensuality, skipping right over to the overused eroticism of sexuality. While both are affecting, I’ll choose this every time. By mixing a classic R&B approach with an electro pop vibe they have the perfect platform to serenade us with their soulful vocals and dreamy harmonies. Any track you put on will employ that vibe, which speaks to the albums consistency, yet it never feels repetitive. Beautifully crafted stuff. My two favorite tracks as of now have to be the classy “In The Meantime” and the albums serene and airy closer “Native Land”, which I’ll use as the single.