The New Royalty - When Poets Dream
2010, Euphoria Records
2010, Euphoria Records
There is no shortage of music school around the world that enables students in pursuing mastery of an instrument. Many of these schools also teach ensemble play, putting together like-minded, nascent musicians to learn how to play well with others. Occasionally, one of these match-ups turns into something more. The New Royalty, a central-Jersey quintet still full of their teens, came together through Paul Sallee's Music University; initially imitating the music of the day, The New Royalty has grown into a creative force with their eyes on the future. The band released their debut album, When Poets Dream, in 2010, and has placed as finalists in several performance and songwriting competitions since that time.
When Poets Dream opens with "I'll Remember You", a catchy, guitar-driven pop song with edge. Vocalist Bree Iafelice (Rockit) has a wonderfully clear voice with just a glint of steel at the core, and comports herself well on the radio-friendly but intelligent rock n roll on the album. "Here I Go" leans more to the alt-rock side of things, but works a classic rock compositional style that plays well to Nick Iafelice's guitar proclivities. "Second Thoughts" is a double take at a relationship that seemed to be something special at first. The song is well-written and cogent without losing its strong pop/rock sensibility.
"Alive" is a melancholic power ballad that seems to balance depression and need in a hopeful/hopeless spiral where the greatest fear is being left alone. The New Royalty sounds a bit like Evanescence on "Tell Me", an edgier and darker turn that stalks the coexisting territories of heartbreak and disbelief. The chorus is catchy enough, but the verses might hurt the songs radio ability. "When Poets Dream" blends speculative metaphysics and Indie Rock N Roll in lyric and powerful fashion. The song is a melodic treat, but carries a punch that's equally emotional and sonic. The New Royalty bows with "Don't Walk Away", a radio-friendly and upbeat number that is urgent, powerful and catchy.
The New Royalty comes across as highly polished and competent on When Poets Dream, a slickly produced effort that features some very commercial, yet intelligent Indie rock. There's a sense of melancholy that runs throughout When Poets Dream that is perhaps a bit trite, and the band comes off best on the final track. But there is a distinctive pop sensibility that runs throughout When Poets Dream that speaks well for The New Royalty's future from a commercial perspective, and there's enough brainpower behind the songwriting to makes the band more than just sonically interesting. When Poets Dream shows room to grow, but the potential here is enormous.
Rating: 3.5 Stars (Out of 5)
Learn more about The New Royalty at www.thenewroyaltymusic.com or www.facebook.com/thenewroyaltymusic. When Poets Dream is available digitally via iTunes.