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FAITH HOPE LOVE

King's X

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Nightfly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
4 stars King's X were always going to have a job topping their previous album, Gretchen Goes to Nebraka. With Faith Hope Love they give it a good shot but fall a little short though no doubt it's still an excellent album and ranks highly in their back catalogue. All the King's X ingredients are in place - Doug Pinnick's powerful and soulful vocal delivery, the Beatles influenced backing vocals, Ty Tabor's beautifully full bodied inventive chord structures, the heavy riffs and lush arpeggios and Jerry Gaskill's solid dependable drum patterns.

There are many excellent tracks here - It's Love with lead vocals by Tabor and those Beatles style harmonies well in place and instantly catchy hooks. Fine Art Of Friendship is a slowish paced rocker and has a classic Tabor riff which he really works to great effect towards the end, not a guitar solo as such, just really working the riff and building it to a furious conclusion. MoanJam is the most frantic and fastest song in the King's X catalogue, Gaskill really driving it along at an intense speed and a great Tabor extended guitar solo with no rhythm guitar backing, just Gaskill and Pinnick's throbbing bass.

Their first 2 albums packed a powerful punch but here the heavy riffs get more metallic at times like on I Can't Help It during the verse, Talk To You has a great staccato syncopated rhythm on the verse before speeding up for chorus and We Were Born To Be Loved has a similar metallic staccato rhythm in parts.

The title track sees King's X at their most adventurous. To begin nothing really sets it apart from their formulaic approach to slow paced rockers but around one third of the way into this 9 minute song it locks into a section of a repeated vocal line of Faith Hope Love which after another verse returns again with a subtle build to an intense finish. Good but some may feel they overstretch it a bit. After that intense finish an acoustic track, Legal Kill seems an appropriate way to end the album.

Well worth adding to your King's X collection but if your new to the band check out Gretchen Goes To Nebraska and their debut Out of the Silent Planet first.

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Send comments to Nightfly (BETA) | Report this review (#183070)
Posted Sunday, September 21, 2008 | Review Permalink
obiter
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars This is the pinnacle of the early phase for me. The stunning Gretchen is all but forgotten with the first chords of We Are Finding Who We Are. the vocal arrangements are smoother as are the musical transitions.

I know in my head that Gretchen is the better prog album and a sure-fire (not as in torches) 5 star, but this just one of those albums which, if it flicks the right switches is well capable of being one of your desert island discs.

It's Love has a Beatles feel to the lyrics, but let's be honest, Kings X aren't the Beatles. I prefer Kings X: Hmm Ty Tabor or George Harrison on lead, now let me think about that one. Gaskill or Starr (let's leave Lennon & McCartney out of this). I'll Never Get Tired of You, is unfortunately the weakest track so one you'll probably get tired of. However, the Fine Art of Friendship has an uplifting drive, with the wailing Pinnick leading the vocals. It's got to be said, he's also got a bit of Satchmo gravel in there. Tremendous.

Moanjam is a real fairground ride of a song: the usual half speed metal sound is played at double speed. Six Broken Soldiers is an excellent vocal track, subdued. I Can't Help is another

Talk to You. It's thrash. No it's Iron Maiden with harmony vocals, no it's thrash, back to Maiden, then Kings X crash the party. the lyrics take us through mundane day to day stuff as life gets on top of the writer who seems to be finding it difficult to talk to ... [fill in blank]: he leaves it with How are you today?

Everywhere I go, a song about Christ: I read the story that you died/I turned the page, you were alive/With hope and love and mostly faith One day I'll see you face to face. Simple, strong, good harmonies. It is followed by the intense and fantastic We Were Born to Be Loved, a track a band I played in once attempted to cover. OK: how tight is that song? Phenomenal. Tighter live if that is possible. Harmony vocals superb, the stops, good grief, the stops. The gaps. This song it just ridiculous it's so good and a pleasure to see live. Be afraid: they take it to a higher level.

Legal Kill, uses a 12-string, woodwind, harmony vocal and straight anti-abortion lyrics. A great song.

Kings X walk the line between evangelizing gospel and rock. I think it's successful. Are the harmonies overdone? Well yes. Is it a bit disjointed? Well yes? Is it essential? Hell yes!

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Send comments to obiter (BETA) | Report this review (#183254)
Posted Monday, September 22, 2008 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars I would highly recommend any of their first three albums, so if you want to check them out and see either "Out Of The Silent Planet" , "Gretchen Goes To Nebraska" or "Faith Hope Love" don't hesitate, buy ! This album is longer than the first two, but perhaps not as cohesive as those two.

"We Are Finding Who We Are" really embodies what KING'S X is all about.Very melodic with lots of bottom end and harmonies. Love the closing line "...and sometimes it just makes no sense but I believe, yeah". "It's Love" was a hit for them back in the day. This is one of my top three on this album. Amazing sound to this one, the guitar, bass and vocals are all perfect. This is Beatlesque with crunch. Some raw guitar late. "I'll Never Get Tired Of You" is a laid back song with reserved vocals except on the chorus. "Fine Art Of Friendship" features lots of bottom end and passionate vocals.The instrumental section from about 3 1/2 minutes to the end is fantastic !

"Mr.Wilson" is another top three for me. This is Beatlesque as well, and it makes me feel so good. Some heaviness 1 1/2 minutes in followed by a tasteful guitar solo. Great track. And no it's not about Steven Wilson. "Moanjam" is a song that they had been playing live for years. It's an uptempo drum led tune. Ripping guitar solo 2 1/2 minutes in that goes on and on. This would be amazing to hear live. "Six Broken Soldiers" is a little different with that experimental flavour on the verses which include some guest pipe organ, French horn and cello. "I Can't Help It" is both heavy and catchy. Killer track ! Some good crunch to this one. "Talk To You" is the heaviest song yet. The drumming is a highlight. The sound lightens on the chorus.

"Everywhere I Go" is the other top three tune for me. The words are so meaningful and emotional for me. It's RUSH-like 2 minutes in. Again the final line in the song is full of meaning "everywhere I go I see you there, ah..." "We Were Born To Be Loved" is powerful with lots of energy, I really like the drumming late. "Faith Hope Love" has a nice solid and heavy sound to it. Passionate vocals as well. This is intense and the longest track on here at almost 10 minutes. "Legal Kill" features strummed guitar as vocals come and go. Cello 1 1/2 minutes in and recorder a minute later. Not one of my favs that's for sure.

This is a band who can always brighten my mood and they appeal to my love of heavy music.

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Send comments to Mellotron Storm (BETA) | Report this review (#187572)
Posted Saturday, November 01, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars For me this is the best King's X album; it still sports the classic sound, i.e. great melodies reminiscent the Beatles mixed with '70 hard rock, but a bit more radio friendly this time. In fact this was their best shot at fame, still ranking as the most successful release they ever had. It contains also their most popular single: the outstanding "It's Love". It take just a few spins to be fully aware that the Cd is full of high points and, to my hears, no weaknesses. Moanjam is still one of the highlights of their live outings and you can find it here in all its 'studio' glory. An ideal starting point, then go backwards. Dogman may be good but it's a too radical departure from the classic King's X sound I'm so fond of...

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Send comments to speak (BETA) | Report this review (#438522)
Posted Sunday, April 24, 2011 | Review Permalink

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