We The Kings
Smile Kid


3.0
good

Review

by J. Ponton EMERITUS
December 7th, 2009 | 27 replies


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The band follows the formula and creates a winter album meant for the summer season.

I like to divide up the genre of pop punk into two subcategories. On one hand, you have the deep and profound bands – those like Say Anything or Brand New – and on the other, you have the plentiful mass of sunny-eyed, catchy bands – ala All Time Low, The Maine, We The Kings, etc. Both sides have their quirks and positives, and despite what may be the initial belief on the subject, the population of listeners throughout the world is probably divided almost evenly when it comes to the number of those that actually enjoy each side of the genre. There is a right way and a wrong way when it comes to the bands actually crafting their music within these sections, and unless the band is trying to push the envelope and create something original, many outputs – particularly those on the catchy side of pop punk – tend to follow a similar format and formula when it comes to the creation of the band’s album.

I’ll get right to the point: We The King’s Smile Kid follows the successful formula for a catchy pop punk release almost perfectly. The band isn’t Radiohead – or Brand New for that matter – and they aren’t out to create something original. The band is just doing what they learned to do with their self-titled debut: the band is just making a summer album for teenagers. Lyrical subjects are what you would expect them to be – growing up, girls, and summer – and the emotions that come across from the music fall into the category of the mysterious and often unsettling area of angst.

The opening track should all but cement what I have said thus far: ”Do, do do, do do, do do do…” follows behind a catchy pop punk riff, and the chorus to be found here is loaded with hooks and many possible interpretations:”She takes me high, she takes me high…” Suffice it to say, the song could certainly be the anthem of those searching for love and affection. We The Kings continue from there on and deliver summer anthem after summer anthem. “The Story of Your Life” is riddled with a naïve type of hope - the kind that only someone who hasn’t been hit with the negative side of life talks about – and for what it’s worth, I can certainly see a lot of girls falling for Travis Clark’s lyrics that encourage them to run away with the singer. As far as switching it up in terms of sound, “In-N-Out (Animal Style)”, with a healthy ammount of sexual innuendo in the title, has this reggae edge to the verses that later connects with the type of chorus that can be found throughout the majority of the album: catchy, hopeful, earnest, etc.

While the majority of the album is a happy and hopeful anthem affair, there does happen to be one moment where the band slows down a bit. “We’ll Be A Dream” features a duet between Travis and Demi Lovato, and while the track does evolve into another anthem for better and hopeful times, you wouldn’t be incorrect in calling it the album’s ballad. Unlikely as it may be, the album’s closer may be the best example of a catchy, pop punk song. A jingle-bell type of pop punk riff enters the track, and the chorus accompanied by sets of well-placed: “Hey, hey, hey, hey!” make for the album’s defining track.

Smile Kid is an album of hope that is full of desires for better days. The band has decided to take the relative success of their self-titled debut and tweak a bit, creating an album that’s meant for the summer season but will have to do for the months of winter instead. As mentioned, the band follows the format for a successful and catchy pop punk release almost perfectly, and those interested shouldn’t expect anything below or above that threshold of quality. Listeners should be warned though: the contents therein are full of sugar; it is best that this album be enjoyed in small doses if this is your type of thing.



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user ratings (69)
Chart.
2.6
average
other reviews of this album
SowingSeason STAFF (3.5)
Standard pop-punk, but well executed and thoroughly enjoyable....


Comments:Add a Comment 
Ponton
Emeritus
December 7th 2009


5793 Comments


Album Stream can be found at their Myspace, but I can't seem to get the link to work. You can find the album stream indirectly through here:

http://tinyurl.com/yd28gwq

The album is on the left side of the page.

Foxhound
December 7th 2009


4570 Comments


Good review but I won't bother with the album.

qwe3
December 7th 2009


21362 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

omg yes getting soon

dylantheairplane
December 7th 2009


2170 Comments


(feat. Demi Lovato)



no thank you.
very awesome review though, I really like the first paragraph for some reason

Ponton
Emeritus
December 7th 2009


5793 Comments


Thank you guys.

The duet between the singer and Demi isn't too bad.


shortone323
December 7th 2009


883 Comments


Again, good review. I like that you review stuff that I'm actually on the fence about checking out. I liked their debut, and I just put it back on my ipod so I have something I can play and sing along to when someone insists that I share it.

I'll probably check out the stream in a bit, but what's the standout track here? On their debut it was probably Skyway Avenue for me, so it'd be cool if you could send me in that direction.

ToWhatEnd
December 7th 2009


3172 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Did not know this was streaming. I like what I've heard off of this so far. Nice review.

Slimjim367
December 7th 2009


512 Comments


great review
hate these guys though
my ex loved them

Waior
December 7th 2009


11452 Comments


This sounds dreadful. Nice review, Greg.

qwe3
December 7th 2009


21362 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

these guys are pretty good

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
December 7th 2009


8368 Comments


This sounds dreadful. Nice review, Greg x2



Ponton
Emeritus
December 7th 2009


5793 Comments


Haha nice, Styles.

Thanks guys.

I'll probably check out the stream in a bit, but what's the standout track here? On their debut it was probably Skyway Avenue for me, so it'd be cool if you could send me in that direction.


The standout track to me was the final song - "What You Do To Me".


bloc
December 7th 2009


34872 Comments


i hate these guys, now you really make me cry....

Ponton
Emeritus
December 7th 2009


5793 Comments


Ah, sorry man... :/

I'm not the biggest fan of this side of the genre either, but for what they do, the band do it well.

Knott-
Emeritus
December 7th 2009


10197 Comments


story of your life is good

i would probably enjoy this

PuddlesPuddles
December 7th 2009


4773 Comments


I'm open to the genre, but this band is sigh-worthy

Nice review Observer. I've been associating your name with good reviews lately

Ponton
Emeritus
December 7th 2009


5793 Comments


Well thanks for the encouragement man; I'm always trying to get better. I feel I'm not quite where I want to be though; I feel I'm missing something whenever I write for some reason.

thatoneguy726
December 7th 2009


1634 Comments


Something about them makes me want to completely hate them... and I do. It's great.

shortone323
December 8th 2009


883 Comments


I listened to the stream yesterday and didn't enjoy it all on the first listen, which is a big problem for bands like this that should hook you early and then dissapoint you later on. I'll probably just stick to their first record.

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
December 11th 2009


16143 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Doesn't sound like it's quite as good as their debut, but needless to say I will be getting my hands on this cd

Digging: Alt-J - This Is All Yours



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