Artist: King Krule
Record label(s): True Panther Sounds, Matador, XL
Recommended Tracks: Track 11- Theme of the Cross Track 12- Underclass
King Krule, his stage name, was born Archy Ivan Marshall on August 24th, 1994. King is an English singer, songwriter, producer, musician, and rapper. He started his career in 2010 under the name Zoo Kid. He then continued his career as King Krule in 2011 and released many EPs and his debut album in 2013 and has released four total albums including his most recent, “Man Alive!”, released on February 21st, 2020. His music is described as being derived from punk jazz, post-punk, and darkwave. His lyrics generally deal with sex, romance, depression, and conflict. King has concepts of his misery and this album is said to turn sweet songs sour. “Man Alive!” has sounds of “punch-drunk neo-noir” that was also in his previous album, “ The Ooz”. However, this album focuses more on shreds of light and results in a more impressionistic album he’s produced yet. I would rate this album a 5 out of 5. This album is a different taste for me but it was an interesting experience. The references in the album, along with the music, makes you reflect on a lot and the style of impressionism really makes you think if this album was rushed or was a lot of thought put into it.
The 11th track on the album is “Theme of the Cross”, possibly one of Krule’s best works. This track contains different sounds and the way they interact is interesting and soothing at times. The use of a saxophone really makes this track gorgeous. The sounds echo in your ear and they almost sway back and forth, making you feel relaxed and calm. The lyrics contain amazing imagery of a dystopian world that the album continues to have in it. The track also references his relationship as a father and how he felt overwhelmed, but he will still protect his daughters. This track is amazing both in its production and in its lyrics, showing his inner struggle and his feelings with the listeners.
The 12th track is “Underclass”. This is a really romantic song on the album. The lyrics in this album are contemplative and romantic. The song refers to King’s wife and how he felt when they met. This song also goes back to more Jazz and Rock he has done before. The saxophone is amazing in this track and it feels warm when you listen to it. The way he sings his lyrics really show the emotion he has when referring to his wife. He also explains the place where they met and the state of mind he was in and his struggle with intimacy and trust at the beginning. He has not fully placed trust in his wife and this song reflects it.
“Man Alive!” is meant to be more impressionistic than his other albums and seem to illustrate his recent life events and feelings after becoming a father and shifting into parenthood rather than into his career, and he loves his parenthood. This album reflects his feelings about his family and his recent life, the music gives his album an interesting sound. “Man Alive!” is more focused on the light and hopeful side of life rather than an of a downfall. If you enjoy music that is interesting and really focuses on a brighter side to life and has music that is soothing, then I suggest you listen to King Krule’s new album, “Man Alive!”.