Released by: Air Castle Records
Release Date: February 18th, 2014
Neal Middleton – Lead Vocals
Taylor Richards – Guitar
Jake Smith – Drums
Dwayne Crawford – Bass
It’s been 13 years since Salt Lake City’s Royal Bliss got their start. And the guys (Neal Middleton – vocals/guitar, Taylor Richards – guitar, Dwayne Crawford – bass, Jake Smith – drums) have been quite busy. 2014 sees them release their 8th album, Chasing The Sun.
In recent years Royal Bliss has begun to see some impressive success. In 2009 they released Life In-between which charted on the Billboard Top 200 and was #1 on Billboard Heatseekers. Their next effort, 2012’s Waiting Out The Storm, continued their success. It landed in the top 10 on iTunes Rock Charts. And like its predecessor it found its way to #1 on Billboard Heatseekers. There’s no reason Chasing The Sun can’t see that same success.
I’ve been having mixed feelings about the music on this release. On the one hand the songs are well crafted and have a feeling of sincerity to them. The entire album is an enjoyable listen. But, on the other hand, the music is a little too “safe” and uninteresting. It’s basically radio friendly, “pop” rock (but good pop rock, which is why it should see the same success as its two predecessors). And pop rock is not a bad thing. There just isn’t anything new here, nothing overly memorable. To gain some perspective on the sound consider an influential band, Foo Fighters, and a couple acts they have toured with, Candlebox and Chevelle. All are popular bands with a radio friendly, more or less, sound. Again, I will use the word safe as a description.
The individual songs on Chasing The Sun run gamut from all out rockers like Welcome, to mid-tempo rockers like It Haunts Me and Rock You All Night Long, to the slower Dreamer and Drink My Stupid Away. There is also a very Johnny Cash like song called Home. The best songs are Welcome, It Haunts Me, Alive To See, and Drink My Stupid Away.
Chasing The Sun is a radio friendly album. That’s its curse and blessing. It’s too safe but it’s also full of catchy tunes. I’m going to give this album a 7 based on the positive aspects of being radio friendly.
Written by Jeff