1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Kings Reign Supreme,
This review is from: XV (Audio CD)
I think it's important to start the review by putting this latest release from King's X into context. This is, I'm fairly sure, the band's 12th studio album, their debut record being released all of 20 years ago. This shows just how durable the band have been and the vastness of their musical creativity over that period.
The album sort of carries on in the same vein as Ogre Tones, although I would suggest the band sound even fresher on XV than they did on the last release. Michael Wagener has produced again and this time round he's done a better job, as if he's now got a better grasp on the band's vibe.
What we have is a fairly mixed bag of songs. Pray, Alright, Go Tell Somebody & Rocket Ship are all pretty up tempo and straight ahead rockers. Alright is particularly catchy and does remind me of the band's earlier and, perhaps, more exuberant days circa Gretchen & Faith Hope Love.
We also get the usual Ty Tabor led tracks of which there are three - Repeating Myself, I Just Want To Live & I Don't Know. These are typical Ty tracks of the ballad variety and stack up well against his best songs with the band and from his solo albums. Repeating Myself is a quite stunning song with some beautiful vocal harmony lines - a real highlight on the album. As a first, we also get a track with Jerry (the drummer) taking lead vocals on Julie. This is another very strong track with a heavy Beetles hue. It's also very reminiscent of the material on Jerry's solo album which is surprisingly good by the way.
If you get the extended version of the album, you'll get 2 bonus tracks, Love & Rockets which has a great chorus and No Lie which is bluesy and great fun. These make a total of 14 tracks which provides a pretty generous and varied offering.
Of the other tracks not mentioned above, I particularly like Stuck which is pretty original with some surprising dissonance in the chordal guitar work in the verse. This is a well developed track and really grows on you with repeated listens. Blue is another highlight for me with its laid back groove and rich harmonic structure.
Overall, this is another very rewarding album from this critically acclaimed yet little known Texan band. If you're already a fan of the band, you've probably already made your purchase. If not, do so immediately and I'm sure you won't be disappointed.
I've given the album 5 stars. In fairness, 4.5 stars would probably be more accurate if the Amazon rating system allowed it. The half point is accounted for by 1 or perhaps 2 slightly weaker tracks on an otherwise consistently high quality offering. Long may this supreme band continue making music.