If I could give this album 7 stars I would.
What was begun on Out of the Silent Planet kicks up a notch and presents one of the most cohesive, energetic, and must have albums of any decade. From one song to the next, you are left wondering, where did they get all of this from? Who is supplying them with this much talent, and where can I get some of that. Honest. I am a musician, and just generally a music lover anyway, but I bought King’s X’s second album on day of release (I had bought their first soon after it came out), and I was just a FAN. This band to me, was the band I was waiting for. In the 80’s everything seemed geared to earn capital, and then there was this band with a black lead singer (a big ”no-no” in the Caucasian rock industry) who could outsing most of the singers I hear then & now. A guitarist who just seemed to come up with these solos you wanted to hear again and again, just so you knew what he was doing. Was he being technical? Was he being improvisational? His guitar playing had as much ’soul’ as the lead singer sang with. And the drummer just made the two of them sound so good. All 3 could sing to different degrees, but it was the sound they made together that was just making me almost weep.
Gretchen… is the album to buy for any fan of music in general. Though I do not think it is their definitive work, and I think I have yet to see that anyway, Gretchen is such a wonderful introduction to what King’s X are/were about that it is indispensable. It was also on this tour that I first saw them live. Everyone in that audience knew all the parts of the songs as if they came just to show King’s X they knew their songs. I have never been to a live show that had that kind of effect on people. Never, and I have been to a lot of shows by tons of different artists. King’s X had a power that people responded to in droves, but the popular culture seemed to not want to know so quickly about them. I can think of many reasons why that hardly seems fair, but such is Life.
You can hear King’s X’s influences on their first 4 albums, but its the way they have blended them together that produces something very original, and unto itself. I cannot say there is one song that stands out over any others, they are all that good, and show many different sides to each member of King’s X (which is heard better on their solo albums as to who provides what to the band’s sound).
I try and point to one song in particular, and have to give up, because not one song on this album defines it. They are all essential, but I know my favourite Ty guitar solo is on ”I’ll Never Be The Same’.
Do not let the Christian tag dissuade you. As I said in another review, this band never made me run out to a Church to go and find God. They made me realise quite a few things, but I did not go out and ”find religion” after hearing a King’s X album. This band is about Faith, Hope and Love, and they have’had this in abundance on their first four albums, and that is what carried through beyond any Christian rock tag that they suffered with, and stopped people from actually enjoying a band that is one of American rock’s most important bands. The sound of hard rock took a giant swerve when King’s X arrived on the scene.