Stateside pop-rockers Royal Street create a beautiful blend of rock, funk, soul and pop. The sense of fun and frivolity on their debut album Flavors makes for a refreshing summertime record. The Rhode Island four-piece is comprised of vocalist Viana Newton, bassist Zach Brock, guitarist Alex Beattie and drummer Brian Cauti. Together they take you down various avenues paved with the building blocks of tight musicianship and meticulously crafted songs. Caught somewhere between the early days of Paramore and Circa Wave’s first album, Flavors is teeming with youthful nostalgia and stylistic choices which are bang on trend.
The experience of Flavors is over in just half an hour, but this probably works in its favour. None of the songs are overthought and overworked. Viana’s vocal is sublime and articulate which she uses to address topics of ego (Night After Night), selfishness in a relationship (Make Believe) and overcoming fear (Say Hello). These are all delivered with an assorted mix of genres. The funky bass and guitar shuffles of ‘Cranston Crank’, ‘The Chase’ and ‘Prove It’ are infused with indie rock energy and a soulful pop vocal.
The question remains, would a longer album have had the same lasting appeal?
All the tracks offer something slightly different even if the bright and colourful vibe remains the same. This is why their short lengths aid their appeal. Many of the riffs and rhythmic flourishes employed throughout could have easily been exhausted in a few 5-6 minute songs. Instead, Royal Street cannily decide to spread out their catchy chorus lines and rousing verses.
It’s easy to get lost in this record. So much so that when I reach the crescendo of ‘Hand in Hand’, I’m surprised that the album ends. The question remains, would a longer album have had the same lasting appeal? What’s certain is Flavors could easily make its way into mainstream and niche album collections alike.
A beautiful blend of genres
Great funk bass lines and guitar shuffles
|1. Night After Night|
|2. Cranston Crank|
|3. The Chase|
|4. Prove It|
|5. Make Believe|
|7. Love’s Labors Lost|
|8. The Good Things|
|9. Say Hello|
|10. Hand in Hand|