We The Kings
Sunshine State of Mind


2.0
poor

Review

by Davey Boy STAFF
July 10th, 2011 | 98 replies


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: What happens to a redhead in the summer sunshine.

With singles charts becoming less relevant with each passing year, some strange occurrences are now prone to take place. One such happening is We The Kings' 'Check Yes Juliet' spending 17 consecutive weeks in the Australian top 50. What is so strange about this? It's still there... more than three years after its initial release. Riding on the back of an early 2011 tour and an advertising campaign for a local reality show, it seems that many Aussies have belatedly begun to enjoy the Floridian quartet's early pop-punk stylings. Those that delve deeper and listen to their energetic and likeable self-titled debut LP will undoubtedly be pleased with the consistent serving of irresistible hooks, tight musicianship, sincere lyrics and sleek vocals. Unfortunately, that album was released almost four years ago, and at a time when We The Kings should be reaching their peak, they now deliver their poorest release to date in third LP 'Sunshine State of Mind'.

To cut to the chase, not one of those aforementioned qualities prevalent on their debut is present here. This is very much a different band to the one who took us to 'Skyway Avenue' and pleaded with us to 'Stay Young'. With the opening two tracks both beginning with acoustic guitar, it also confirms that all notions of We The Kings being a pop-punk band have been dispensed with. The cheesy lovey-dovey lyrics of opener 'Friday Is Forever' reminds heavily of The Academy Is...'s disappointing 'Fast Times at Barrington High', which should not surprise since both albums were produced by S*A*M & Sluggo, the genuises behind Metro Station's 'Shake It'. Containing what is likely the catchiest chorus on the record, successor 'Say You Like Me' contains a light, airy vibe that hints at the type of reggae-tinged pop that Bruno Mars has made successful of late. It's too bad that its absurd "Woh Wohs" almost sink the song.

To this point in their career, the strongest component of We The Kings had undoubtedly been Travis Clark's effortlessly charming vocals. Here, they cross the line into unconvincing laziness, with the flame-haired frontman's performance suggesting he had somewhere else to be. Clark's attempts to inspire on piano ballad 'The View From Here' and strings-laden closer 'You and Only You' are in fact uninspiring, while he struggles to match his band-mates attitude when they finally break out of their slumber on energetic throwback 'Kiss Me Last'. There is thankfully a late infusion of energy as the album proceeds, with 'The Secret to New York' getting the balance about right in a safe and inoffensive way. However, even that does not always turn out for the best as can be heard on the excruciating - and creepy - 'Sleep With Me', which comes off like the bastard step-child of the aforementioned 'Shake It' and a rejected cut from Weezer's 'Raditude'.

While detractors of the band will point to the slicker pop of We The Kings' sophomore release 'Smile Kid' as a sure sign of the quartet's decline, even that album was able to satisfy by consistently delivering upbeat hooks and catchy choruses. 'Sunshine State of Mind' has no such luck however, with very little sticking in the mind at all. A handful of tracks may be deemed passable in isolation, but turn to bland, forgettable pop-rock mush when lumped together into this ten track package. What is even sadder is that We The Kings fail to achieve the summery feel-good vibe which everything from the album title, cover, lyrics and music suggests was the intention. In fact, it is extremely telling when the best song is a bonus track fittingly titled 'Summer', a cut which is exactly the type of sound that should have been used as a template for 'Sunshine State of Mind'. But hey, you know what happens to a redhead in the summer sunshine.

Recommended Tracks: (Summer), Say You Like Me & Kiss Me Last.



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user ratings (61)
Chart.
2
poor

Comments:Add a Comment 
DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
July 10th 2011


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Review could have done without the useless fact in the introduction, but I wanted a lead-in to highlight that their debut LP was actually damn good.

I may have been nice & rated this a 2.5 had 'Summer' been part of the tracklist proper. Whoever was responsible for leaving it off has rocks in their head.

808muzik
July 10th 2011


954 Comments


God, I hate the album title.

Digging: Vince Staples - Hell Can Wait

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
July 10th 2011


16404 Comments


I even liked Smile Kid, but this is just so far removed from their debut in terms of both style and quality that I can barely stand listening to it

Digging: Weezer - Everything Will Be Alright in the End

pizzamachine
July 10th 2011


12571 Comments


You and your recommended by reviewer section : ), I'm glad *someone* still uses it.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
July 10th 2011


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Album title doesn't bother me, but album itself doesn't live up to the title.

Ditto SS. Your 1 sentence basically summed up my review.

Pizza they should turn that section into 'Recommended By Davey'.

Acre
July 10th 2011


847 Comments


I enjoyed Check Yes Juliet in spite of myself; is it worth it to check out their debut? I've listened to too many albums recently that impressed me with a catchy single and then ended up being disappointing.

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
July 10th 2011


16404 Comments


Their debut is worth it...the first half of the album is nonstop hits, then the second half dies way down but is still decent

TheEnigma
July 10th 2011


566 Comments


I actually very much enjoy the song they did with Demi Lovato. Damn, can that girl ever sing.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
July 10th 2011


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Acre, it is. Really consistent album, even if 'Check Yes Juliet' is the standout.

Ditto TheEnigma. That song basically proved that they were aiming for a younger audience on their 2nd album, but it was still a good song.

FlawedPerfection
Emeritus
July 10th 2011


2806 Comments


@summary.

hey.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
July 10th 2011


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Tell me it ain't true Tyler.

It's been a bad few days for redheads, following the Gallows news also.

Pharoh
July 10th 2011


3326 Comments


i dont like this at all.

Douglas
July 10th 2011


9115 Comments


Sunshine state of mind? Really? That is yuck.

Digging: The Preatures - Blue Planet Eyes

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
July 10th 2011


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

But you're such a dark, winter type of guy Dougie.

I'm a generous kinda guy Phaze.

Douglas
July 10th 2011


9115 Comments


Indeed, that is me....

Shame about your boys today mate, why'd they even rock up?

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
July 10th 2011


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

All I can say Dougie is that I was rugged up in front of the heater... I think that's where they were mentally.

toxin.
July 10th 2011


12604 Comments


Haha, awesome review. I don't know how I didn't catch it. ...oops.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
July 10th 2011


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

"Haha, awesome review. I don't know how I didn't catch it. ...oops."

No probs... &thanks. Really disappointing album. Seems half-hearted, like they recorded it after a big night out or something.


toxin.
July 10th 2011


12604 Comments


I'd listen to it if my friend weren't over at the moment, which is ironic because he's the one who got me to listening to the band in the first place.

But your review was really good, in that I now have next to no desire to listen to this album and (apparently) waste my time. But you know how third albums are. I think it's better if it gets horrible reception and they realize the error of their ways, instead of giving a string of mediocre albums where they don't have that Eureka moment of "Oh, what the hell were we doing?"

I guess if the next album also sucks, then the band is as good as done.

HBFS
July 10th 2011


1262 Comments


Stop reviewing this drivel and do The Story So Far, the people need to hear



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