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THURSDAY TRACK OF THE WEEK: Royal Tailor – Black & White (Provident)
When RNB/pop band All Together Separate departed the scene in 2003, it left a void within the Christian music industry. But in all honesty, it’s not like there was a huge glut of funk and soul driven artists littering the landscape anyway.
Perhaps that’s why new four-piece outfit Royal Tailor so prominently stands out. With a big sound that invokes hints of Maroon 5 and Bruno Mars, the multi-racial band stands poised to make a sizeable dent in the hit radio and even adult contemporary fan base despite years of underrepresentation.
The first thing that jumps out when listening to Royal Tailor’s debut Black & White is lead singer Tauren Wells crystal clear pipes and high-end vocal range. Wells will no doubt be compared to Michael Jackson especially in light of the uncanny influence present in the inspirational ballad “Gravity (Pulling Heaven Down).” But it’s his diverse vocal ability that ultimately jumps out of the speakers from his aggressive rock flair on “Death of Me” to the ridiculous high notes hit on “Freefall.”
Royal Tailor, however, is clearly no one-man show as Wells’ band mates display musical chops well beyond what is typical amongst a group of 24 and 25 year olds. Bass player Blake Hubbard, lead guitarist D.J. Cox and drummer Jarrod Ingram move seamlessly between multiple styles and sounds and in doing so avoid sounding like mere backups to Wells’ extraordinary singing skills.
Once you get past the sheer ear candy presented throughout the 11-track album, it’s clear that Wells and company are also solid lyricists with a penchant for clever, yet poignant messages that not only provide hope for those dealing with every day struggles but also challenge listeners to more meaningful relationship with God.
The electronic/rock infused “Control” is a perfect example with biting references to the music of Lady Gaga and Katy Perry in an effort to point out how popular culture has distorted the true meaning of life with its skewed perception of love, acceptance and self worth.
There is absolutely no reason why Royal Tailor shouldn’t be the next big thing. With what seems to be the perfect mix of energy, creativity and sincere evangelistic message, Black & White has a legitimate chance to be one of the year’s best albums for Christian music fans and beyond.
To learn more about Royal Tailor, visit the band’s official website here.
Join Whole Notes tomorrow for an exclusive Beliefnet.com interview with Blindside guitarist Simon Grenehed.