King Charles first humbly made his mark on indie music with his album ‘Loveblood’, which was full of cheery, ear-pleasing melodies and simple, catchy choruses.
This attracted a significant fan base similar to that of Laura Marling and Mumford and Sons, which was partly due to Marcus Mumford’s contribution to the album.
The new album, ‘Gamble for a Rose’, is almost the complete opposite.
However, there are some similarities such as the continuation of his incredibly inventive lyrics similar to F. Scott Fitzgerald’s words of romance in The Great Gatsby.
While the majority of ‘Loveblood’ was upbeat and gloriously happy, the majority of ‘Gamble for a Rose’ is stripped back and sorrowful. This disappointed me at first as my expectations weren’t met. Although, after listening again, concentrating more on the intricate guitar melodies and atmospheric strings, I realised he manages to create poetic and somewhat unique songs whilst sticking to the conventional formula of popular music (verse, chorus, verse, chorus).
Having said that, there is a lack of variety. The album is a collection of consistently slow, dry and at times depressing tracks. It’s as if he’s been through a break-up and been listening to too much Adele. Also, while his lyrics throughout the verses are original and expressive, the lyrics of the choruses disappoint. He sings “let me love you, I wanna love you…” making it difficult to distinguish between indie musician King Charles and the unoriginal, recycled boy band drivel in the mainstream charts.
A band’s second album is rarely an improvement on their debut and ‘Gamble for a Rose’ is no exception. This album was enjoyable on a more simplistic level and will hopefully be a minor speed bump in an otherwise delightful music career.