The recent album from Royvine entitled Sleep Away Summer Camp, "Don Cue" has a California pop vibe. It sounds bright and the electric, poppy styles sound reminiscent of the music you might associate with the state.
The song and styles are varied ranging from minimal acoustic guitar pieces to pop punk. No matter the style they attempt it is undeniably all emo. The delivery from the singer’s voice to the structure of the music has a mainstream, radio ready feel. Sleep Away Summer Camp, "Don Cue" revolves around simple chord progression and palatable melodies that will act as repellent to hipsters but will attract a more ubiquitous audience.
The album opens with “Gawker” which is one of the better songs but is also full of predictable moments. I thought the verse was engaging with the slight dissonant melodies. The second half of the song sounds like pop punk with emphasis on the pop.
“Never Left” has a notable bass line and the vocal harmonies are a bonus. The lyrics follow a first perspective narrative that lacks any poetic ambiguity. The vocalist sings, “Packing up my car this evening, I’m having flash backs that aren’t deceiving. They're clear I couldn’t leave something so beautiful behind, so I’ll take it with me. I wanna be the man to hold your hand on Manhattan Beach.”
“The Same Way” is a melancholy, love song about distance (as are a lot of the other songs on the album). It’s got a bit of cheese on it but at least they are unapologetic about it. The next song “Out of Work” pulls a complete 180. It’s certified pop punk except the singer occasionally sounds like Conor Oberst. Another 180 is pulled with “Fountain of Kings.” Some of the highlights come on the latter half of the album including the piano lead “Winter Pace” and “Behind a Megaphone.”
Sleep Away Summer Camp, "Don Cue" is a far from perfect album. The recording quality could have been improved quite a bit, the singer is sometimes noticeably off-key and some of the lyrics read like someone’s diary. That being said, it will still attract a certain brand of folk. If you dig pop punk with a side of acoustic ballads that are wrapped in confessional lyrics then I think you will enjoy this.
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