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Royal Tailor - Black & White

7
Tracklisting:

1. Death Of Me
2. Make A Move
3 Freefall
4. Control
5. Gravity (Pulling Heaven Down)
6. Hold Me Together
7. Wannabe
8. Black & White
9. Run To Love
10. Hope
11. Love Is Here

Nine or ten years ago the Christian pop genre was all but dead. Plus One had gone Punk
and other major groups like Jump 5 jumped ship shortly after leaving only Brian Littrell
(formerly of the Backstreet Boys) to keep the genre alive. Several years went by and then there
seemed to be a renewed interest in the once dead genre. The rock/punk infused Manic Drive
gave fans of the genre something new to listen to and now with the release of their debut album
Black & White Royal Tailor is joining the efforts to bring fans out of the woodwork.

It's hard though to label RT's pop / rock / punk / hip-hop mix as generic at first. In fact
you might be tempted to rename them Plus One and the final track will make you want to give
them the name Maroon 5, but if you listen closely there is more going on than a copy. Of an
older bands sound and style. For example, thought at times it seems mismatched the group
manages to mix Hip-Hop in with a punk and pop sound. This mix is complimented by Tauren
Wells strong lead vocals but with all this it's hard not to feel like you are listening to a boy band
from the 90's. This will make fans of the genre ecstatic but will make it harder to bring in new
listeners who are familiar with the style already.

Lyrically this album has momentary strokes of genius, the opener "Death of Me"
discusses the need for us to lay down our lives and let Christ take control. The single "Hold me
Together" explores our relationship with God when we feel like we have been
separated. "Hope" deals with the fact that often times hope is a struggle.

Unfortunately it is also some of the lyrics that drag the album down. "Freefall" could be
brilliant but the music behind it takes away from the power of the song. "Wannabe" deals with
identity but has the same flaw. "Control" talks about the emptiness found in the media but takes
cheap shots at major artists, the song starts with "In a bad romance, going ga, ga, you know
we're getting' played by the love game, and hypnotized by all the fame" it's possible the song
could have been much better without these lines and will probably turn off fans of the artists
mentioned.

All in all this is a good solid debut for RT, they have managed to mix a variety of styles
and though it's not perfect the end result is a great sound and vibe. I think this album shows that
Royal Tailor certainly has the potential to grow and mature with their sound and lyrics.

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