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We The Kings - Sunshine State of Mind Album Cover

We The Kings - Sunshine State of Mind

Reviewed by
4.6
We The KingsSunshine State of Mind
Record Label: S-Curve Records
Release Date: July 5, 2011 (iTunes) / July 12, 2011 (everywhere)
This review was written by an AP.net staff member.
We The Kings have traveled down quite the path over the past four years. They hit it pretty big in the pop-rock scene with their debut self-titled record back in 2007. However, although this record put them on the map and made it seem the band could write catchy, summery riffs and hooks, these notions proved short lived, as what followed was simply a massive sophomore slump. Smile, Kid fell short of the potential held by We The Kings throughout 2007; it lacked the hooks and addictive choruses and placed them into the forgettable pop band category.

Now two years later, they’re back for another crack at it with Sunshine State of Mind. However, the only thing this record proves is that the path We The Kings have chosen clearly only leads to further regression. It seems they’ve taken everything bad about Smile, Kid and rehashed it, only to make it even worse, adding in unorthodox acoustic guitars with muddy vocals and production. What results from this sounds something like a mediocre local band of fifteen-year-old kids covering the mediocre style presented on Smile. Gone forever are the hooks that drove “Check Yes Juliet” and “Skyway Avenue.” Gone forever is the emotion contained within the mid-tempo rocker “All Again For You.” Even the interesting duet of “We’ll Be A Dream” makes no copy-cat attempt on this record – it’s all just gone.

So what does Sunshine contain? 1. Lame pop tunes that a fifteen year old could pen in five minutes. 2. Muffled vocals and dreadful production. 3. A severe lack of any emotion, passion, or drive whatsoever. And the list goes on. Take the opening “Friday Is Forever” if you need any excuse of how overdramatic and uneventful this record is: “Friday is forever / We belong together tonight / So come on, come on / Don’t you say never.” All of this is sung in an uninspired monotone frequency from the once talented Travis Clark. Where is the band that could write instant hits four years ago?

At least “Say You Like Me” has a somewhat catchy chorus, although it starts out failing miserably; on the other hand, “Every Single Dollar” proves that upbeat tracks do not always equal catchy tunes, as it lacks any emotional delivery at all and is just about boring as it gets here. Not only do the upbeat tracks not work, even the mellow and acoustic cuts do nothing for the listener – “The View From Here” is bland and insipid, the acoustic driven “Over You” inspires no reason to sing along, and sadly the final “You and Only You” does absolutely nothing to save the record, for even though he is accompanied by violins, Clark seems to forget the meaning of poignancy as the record closes.

Even one of the only decent tracks “Kiss Me Last,” which sounds like a bad Jimmy Eat World knockoff at times, sounds rushed, muffled, and apathetic throughout the chorus, while “Sleep With Me” reminds us all why we hated Metro Station – I’ll leave you to figure out the rest. Although I do wish We The Kings could find the musicians in themselves that wrote their addicting debut record, it’s clear nothing will redeem Sunshine State of Mind. From the lack of promotion or marketing to the lack of intensity, passion, or effort, this record will be forgotten by next week – and rightfully so. When the band that wrote We The Kings returns, maybe these guys will experience success again, but until then, it looks like they’ll continue down the path of bland pop tunes, down the path of regression.

Recommended If You Likean even worse knockoff of Smile, Kid; mediocre pop tunes; regression

Listen Touh…maybe “Say You Like Me,” “Kiss Me Last,” or “You and Only You”

Additional Information
Track Listing:
1. Friday Is Forever
2. Say You Like Me
3. Every Single Dollar
4. The View From Here
5. The Secret To New York
6. Sleep With Me
7. Over You
8. Kiss Me Last
9. Somebody to Call My Own
10. You and Only You

We The Kings are:
Travis Clark – Vocals, Guitar, Piano
Hunter Thomsen – Guitar
Drew Thomsen – Bass
Danny Duncan – Drums

Myspace

Follow Me On Twitterhttp://www.twitter.com/RyanGardnerC
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 79
04:20 PM on 07/06/11
#2
Ryan Gardner
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I would like to say that I love(d) their debut record. It's a solid pop record.


Sunshine State of Mind is streaming here: http://music.aol.com/new-releases-full-cds#/1
06:18 PM on 07/06/11
#3
cwhit412
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I would like to say that I love(d) their debut record. It's a solid pop record.


Sunshine State of Mind is streaming here: http://music.aol.com/new-releases-full-cds#/1
Totally agreed.
08:49 PM on 07/06/11
#4
brandon_260
Ah, yes.
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Glad I vowed to stay away from this band after Smile, Kid. Sound like a really bad album.
09:06 PM on 07/06/11
#5
Clockwork00
Write it on the walls and read it.
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Pretty harsh but I can't help but agree. Everything about this band makes me sad. Smile, Kid at least had a couple songs that vaguely reminded me of the self-titled. This album is just embarrassing.
09:17 PM on 07/06/11
#6
wearefriends
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i had such high hopes for this record...i hoped they heard everyone's complaints about Smile Kid. The lack of personal feel to it combined with the actual lack of good lyrics was a big let down. This is just 10x worse.

Please do better next time guys
09:38 PM on 07/06/11
#7
Clockwork00
Write it on the walls and read it.
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i had such high hopes for this record...i hoped they heard everyone's complaints about Smile Kid. The lack of personal feel to it combined with the actual lack of good lyrics was a big let down. This is just 10x worse.

Please do better next time guys
I read an interview where the lead singer was talking about how, after they released Friday is Forever, they literally saw no negative response to it. He spent like an entire paragraph detailing, very specifically, how everyone loved it. So either they're just not looking or they're perfectly content with this.
09:40 PM on 07/06/11
#8
Ryan Gardner
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I read an interview where the lead singer was talking about how, after they released Friday is Forever, they literally saw no negative response to it. He spent like an entire paragraph detailing, very specifically, how everyone loved it. So either they're just not looking or they're perfectly content with this.
That song is just so bad. I cannot imagine how grown men could take themselves seriously for writing that when they wrote solid pop hits when they were what late teens?
09:41 PM on 07/06/11
#9
bandnamexmyname
&^%^&
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It was pretty cool that nobody knew this was coming out, and now people know. Shit.

Also
Quote:
1. Lame pop tunes that a fifteen year old could pen in five minutes

I'm insulted!
10:17 PM on 07/06/11
HometownHero
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First 5 songs are great. The rest are shit.
10:19 PM on 07/06/11
LastDeclaration
mmm tasty
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"lack thereof of" lol
10:25 PM on 07/06/11
OurLadyCoolbean
False. Black bears.
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^ of all the things you could say about the review or the album...
10:27 PM on 07/06/11
luvsickcatalyst
wander eyes, ocean high.
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I jumped to the bottom of the page just to see if I could guess the score of the review.

I'm going to say 61%.

Regardless of what it is, kind of sad to see how this band has sounded after "Check Yes Juliet". Still love that song.

EDIT: Shit, 46%. That's turrble. Can't be too surprised with song titles as desperate as "Sleep With Me". Reading the review now.
10:31 PM on 07/06/11
Searos
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This album has a few songs I like. Every Single Dollar and Sleep With Me are terrible from even my pop friendly standards. It is the least favorite of their albums and that is coming from someone who liked smile kid. This is the sorta album I can only enjoy in company of my girlfriend.
10:35 PM on 07/06/11
M.Lee
man I'm pretty
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I really enjoyed their debut, so I got sucked into Smile, Kid despite its terrible reviews. I won't be doing the same this time. Smile was an absolutely dreadful album.

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