What It Sounds Like: Energetic electro-pop for the Christian market.
I wouldn’t have picked up the debut Capital Kings record if it wasn’t recommended to me by a friend. I really didn’t have a strong desire to hear it – after hearing TobyMac’s newest disappointing record, I figured it was simply going to be Gotee Record’s latest attempt to capitalize on the electronica and dubstep movement. I was scared that I was going to get some commands like “Let the bass drop for JC!” – while the bass – as demanded – drops.
My friend was half right with his recommendation.
I was half right with my preconceived ideas.
We don’t have much in the way of dub step here, or even in the way of straight up electronica. Jon White and Cole Walowac arn’t DJ’s – they’re pop artists, simply backed up by pop beats with a much heavier electronic and rave flavor than we would have heard in years past. They have more in common with with Usher’s brand of top-40 than anything that is currently happening in Ibiza.
The tracks certainly arn’t bad for this style. We get album opener All The Way to kick us off with an above average electro-pop song – complete with the heavy, consistent bass and machine-gun electronic pulses and effects. It’s party music. It’s made to get the energy up! More times than not, it succeeds. Be There cuts its time in half, slowing down the beat into a mid-tempo almost rocker track that is surely the best thing we find on the whole record. Shockingly, when Capital Kings try their hand at a no-holds-barred electronica track that would fit in with the whole DJ scene, it actually blows the roof off the place! Closer The Paradigm includes vocals, but its purely instrumental sections run along the lines of (don’t kill me now, electro-kids) something Daft Punk would come out with! Unexpected, but completely welcomed.
The good, however, is mixed with the mediocre. We have filler around the center, with the triple-so-called-threat of I Feel So Alive, Ready For Home, and Born To Love. They’re a dime a dozen, and could have been released from any artist at any time trying to seem relevant.
The lyrics on this record arn’t overly deep or thought-provoking, though I’m not sure if I’ve ever heard anything in this type of electro-pop/rave style that has made me think twice, or reach for the liner notes. Suffice it to say, the lyrics are not included in the booklet. There are some cringe-worthy ones in here, delivered with way too much heart, so get ready for them. TobyMac, you’re producing this! How are you gonna let lines like I’m the streetlights that guide you home / I’ll be the GPS when you’ve lost your phone / I’ll be the song that’s rocking in your headphones / I’ll show you the signs to let you know / You’ll never be alone make the cut? I know we’re appealing to a new generation, and I know I’m not necessarily the target market, but don’t sing about technology. Just don’t do it.
Hey – it ain’t perfect. But hey – I wasn’t expecting it to be.
Full disclosure, this simply isn’t my go-to style, so if it’s yours, maybe you’ll appreciate it even more than I do.
But it ain’t bad.
It ain’t bad.
If you had to listen to two tracks: All The Way / Be There