Kings Kaleidoscope
Zeal


4.0
excellent

Review

by breadisdead USER (1 Reviews)
April 8th, 2019 | 15 replies


Release Date: 2019 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Zeal: An album unmatched in passion and joy that will surely infect any one who gives it a listen!

Kings Kaleidoscope is a remarkable anomaly amongst a torrent of mediocre and subpar worship groups. Never content to be pinned down by any particular labels, this band is constantly exploring new territory and combining elements that most bands, whether worship-oriented or not, would view as being in juxtaposition with each other. Kings Kaleidoscope, however, is not afraid about such experimentation, which is evident by their unabashed risk-taking. Remarkably, their endeavors have wildly succeeded almost every time. Unfortunately, the willingness to take so many risks can often result in missteps, a few of which are apparent on their (technically) third LP Zeal, where KK further develops the sound begun on The Beauty Between while incorporating elements from The Beauty Between.

The album opens with the brief introduction “In Coma,” where Chad sings amongst minimal instrumentation. The brass in this track falsely prepared me to expect the following album to be a Beauty Between Part II. When “Hero Over My Head” burst out, I was quickly proven wrong. The complexity of the arrangements, along with the members' massive energy and precision of execution, on this track is utterly stunning, incorporating elements of worship, hip-hop, alternative rock, gospel, and even hints of EDM into a surprisingly cohesive track. Another highlight is “Naked Feet, Holy Fire,” (which at times I mistook for alternative rock from the late 90s) has a chorus that is sure to stay stuck in your head for days. The soundscape of “Aimless Knight” is absolutely gorgeous, and would fit nicely in the track-list of any movie soundtrack. Also impressive is the surprisingly soothing and moving rendition of the well-known Sunday school song "Jesus Loves Me" on the song "Oxygen." However, one of the album's greatest highlights is the massive three part "The Rush." It is extremely riveting, overflowing with pure joy and an undeniable passion for the Gospel; one cannot help but shout out "holy, righteous, ratchet squad!" Though all three parts are distinctly unique, the cohesiveness of the entire entity is quite surprising.

Unfortunately, the cohesiveness of the "The Rush" cannot be said for the album as a whole. In fact, this is the greatest weakness of the album. As a whole, the album is so diverse musically that there is no discernable musical coherence throughout the album. “Backwards” is perhaps the best example. Incorporating various strains of hip-hop influences, the song does not appear to have any particular musical focus, and as a result, never really reaches any sort of apex musically. “Same Blood,” though the message of the necessity of dependency is respectable, is a song that itself does not have any particularly unique qualities making it worthy of repeated listens. “A Little Bit of Faith,” while a solid song, is an odd choice for a closer, considering the jarring contrast from “Oxygen” preceding it. In fact, I believe that the latter would have served as a much better closer.

In hindsight, I cannot consider Zeal a bad album by any means, as it is light years ahead, both musically and lyrically, of many worship groups popular in Christian entertainment. This album certainly brings a passion that I would dare say is unmatched by any other of their albums. Unfortunately, it at times seems a little too ecstatic to be fully appreciated. I understand that this may be a highly unpopular opinion, especially amongst hardcore KK fans who will consider this one of their finest albums to date. I am not stating that this album should be glossed over. Like all of KK’s albums, this one requires repeated listens in order for one to fully appreciate the creativity and effort poured into it. You would be truly be missing something great if you chose not to give it a listen. I would suggest starting with “Hero over My Head,” “The Rush (Pts. 1, 2, & 3), and “Oxygen.” While you’re at it, pick up some of the gaudy, quirky merchandise available on their website!


user ratings (23)
Chart.
3.9
excellent
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Comments:Add a Comment 
breadisdead
April 7th 2019


3 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Hey all, I am new at writing music reviews so any sort of criticism would be greatly appreciated!

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Friday13th
April 7th 2019


6715 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Pos'd, good review. I would review the second paragraph for sentence structure, though. Some of the sentences don't read well and should be split up.



I agree with the conclusion. KK is now a bit poppier than usual, but I guess their last EP was poppy too. That spoken word track in the middle is just nonsense. I'm just a bit more disappointed about the disjointedness especially compared to their first two studio albums that flowed remarkably well. I miss the jazzy horn rock.

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Lucman
April 7th 2019


2331 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Excellent review for a first, have a pos! I do find this sentence a little redundant though, "Unfortunately, the willingness to take so many risks can often result in missteps, a few of which are apparent on their (technically) third LP Zeal, where KK further develops the sound begun on The Beauty Between while incorporating elements from The Beauty Between."

Maybe remove the part about incorporating elements from TBB.

As for the record I've never been one to really vibe with Kings K's approach. I really enjoyed Becoming Who We Are but nothing they've done since has managed to grab my attention. This record is a step in the right direction though and is genuinely great for the most part.



Digging: Glen Hansard - This Wild Willing

breadisdead
April 7th 2019


3 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Whoops! I meant to say Beyond Control for the latter. I didn't even catch that!

Lucman
April 7th 2019


2331 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

That makes sense! I'm looking forward to reading more reviews from you. We need some more love for good Christian music on here.

breadisdead
April 7th 2019


3 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks for the encouragement, I really appreciate it!

jacobclark512
April 7th 2019


29 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Good review man. I've had this album on repeat all weekend, and it's hitting me with freshness I haven't felt since Becoming Who We Are. You definitely have a more tempered take on it, but I see where a lot of your points come from. I'm just too much of a fan and am too emotionally connected with their music over the years that I can't really critique them anymore.

Digging: Kings Kaleidoscope - Zeal

dmathias52
April 7th 2019


260 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I love some good worship music and this is a band that I'm not familiar with. Excited to check it out! Great review

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Calc
Contributing Reviewer
April 8th 2019


16115 Comments


does this group still sound like The Reign of Kindo?

Friday13th
April 8th 2019


6715 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

@Calc unfortunately no. This doesn't have any jazz in it and barely any rock. Their first two studio albums do have songs that sound like Reign of Kindo.

tyman128
April 8th 2019


1302 Comments


welcome to reviewing man, good review for a first, have a pos

have yet to check this band out, been meaning to for a while, I’ll be checking this out

ProjectFreak
April 8th 2019


3547 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Solid review, if a bit hyperbolic. Album has flashes of brilliance (holy wow, The Rush), but I too miss the band's more Reign of Kindo style indie rock (though Kindo's also mellowed out a good bit), and some of the lyrical decisions are pretty cheesy (I was not a fan of that Jesus Loves Me bit). But the band's at least breaking the mold of most worship music these days, so kudos

Calc
Contributing Reviewer
April 8th 2019


16115 Comments


awwwwwwwwww..

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
April 10th 2019


16761 Comments


album cover reminds me of hilma af klint

Danred97
April 22nd 2019


2145 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I think this is about on par with their last full length, just doesn't have a song on the level of Prayer. Still very solid, Oxygen has become a highlight for me.

Digging: Copeland - Blushing



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