Review Summary: We the Kings makes a great debut, fun and catchy, but repetitive and feels a little overdone.
Pop-punk is a very difficult genre to improve upon. Around every corner is another group of skinny teens in their garages attempting to "re-invent" the pop-punk genre. There are very few major label punk bands that really stand out, such as Blink-182 and Sum 41, who have become pioneers of the genre. They created fun and fast paced "skater" music. Now though, pop-punk has become so complicated, with the increase in bands using computer effects or synth, attempting to enhance the sound of their music, and the fact that idea's for good punk music is running low. Either that or mankind is just getting less creative by the year.
We the Kings brings back innocent pop-punk music. The average gain/loss love lyrics and very catchy music, but We the Kings improves upon the genre. Not trying to hard to impress and just wanting to create music that's very fun and can relate upon the everyday life of a teenager. We the Kings self titled debut is very impressive, they've even managed to get 2 singles off this album. So, what makes them a stand out in the genre? The fact that I had tons of fun while listening to the album. I haven't had the chance to catch them live yet, but they're seen playing with bands like Metro Station, Academy Is and currently on tour with All Time Low.
The album kicks off right away with 'Secret Valentine', a song that every teenager can relate to. While the song doesnt showcase the band at it's greatest capabilities, it welcomes us to the album and what kind of music the band loves to make. One thing that's very noticeable right away is Travis Clark's vocals, they have the average high pitched tone but it distinguishes itself from other vocalists in the genre. 'Skyway Avenue' is an extremely well done love song, as the lyrics explain how someone will go as far as they have to for the person they love. This was one of the single's off the album, it was also the first song I ever heard from the band. As with most of the songs, you could sing this song to the girl of your dreams and make them smile, and I have to say that the chorus is the best part of this song. Travis reaches a great vocal pitch and though the drums are average, the two guitars work together very well on top of eachother.
If you know We the Kings, then you know 'Check Yes Juliet', one of the catchiest songs off the entire album. Most will probably know the song from the music video but it deserves the attention. The band has certainly written this song to be just complete fun, you always find yourself singing along with the chorus, clapping at the end of the verses and smiling when the song comes on through the speakers. 'Stay Young' is a party song, as the chorus is extremely catchy and is meant to get people involved, especially when they play live. Most pop-punk songs are written that way though, meant to be catchy on the album then very fun when it comes to the live performance.
We the Kings isnt all just fun and games, as the album progress's throughout there is a slight change in tempo, which really starts with 'August Is Over', a softer track about the downfall of love. The nice mix of acoustic guitar with the electric sounds great and the main topic of the song can heavily be related to teenage feelings when it comes to any feeling dealing with love. 'Don't Speak Liar' follows the same pattern as August is Over, has a softer verse then picks up for the chorus, but the change in tempo relaxes the listener, but doesnt go far enough to uninterest them. 'All Again For You' picks up a little bit before the end of the album, another love song. Meant to make the listener smile as they listen, it's a great couple song and it's very easy to remember. It's a great song to lead up to the ending of this album.
'This is Our Town' is my favorite track off of the album. It's an ending ballad, starting with a soft piano and slowly building up to a faster ending. The song wraps up everything said and heard in the album, a soft apology to the lives the members of the band have lived and after hearing this song, it makes me want to go back and restart the album. The problem there is that sometimes the album feels a little but repetitive and uninteresting. I guess you can only have so much fun before you push it over the edge. I will never lose hope in We the King's as a band, but I also worry about their future. Let's hope they dont sink into the generic stage.