Christian pop/r&b band Royal Tailor released a self-titled album in October. The band’s sophomore effort came after a solid debut in Black & White. Numbers may be deceptive, as the new album never crashed through the charts. The popularity of an album is not always connected with its quality, though. Like many albums, this one takes a few listens to really draw a conclusion.
To be honest, one listen through came as a bit of a disappointment. After releasing the high-tempo Got That Fire as a single, the effect had been somewhat lost before the album actually hit the shelves. The initial response, then, didn’t live up to the hype from Black & White. Leave the album alone for some time and come back later. The opening track does more than enough to bring the hook. Right as the intro song closes, the band smashes in electric guitar and smooth vocals on Jesus Love, which features legendary dc Talk member and solo-artist, tobyMac. Royal Tailor front-man Tauren Wells unabashedly proclaims the gospel message, singing “the sacrifice was given/ so my sin would be forgiven” to the pleasure of returning listeners hoping the band would stay true to themselves. Royal Tailor goes on to proclaim the beauty of creation in Original before slowing the album down a bit. At this point, listeners may have the catch of hesitation experienced with this album. Something doesn’t seem right about the slow sound, beginning with You Are My Rescue. The lyrics, after giving the song a few more listens, are powerfully laced with truth and humility. Wells softly sings “Wherever I am, whenever I fall/ You lift me up, You never let go/…You are my rescue”, getting to the heart of what a relationship with Jesus Christ really looks like. Just when the album seems to be caught in the gentle music, the band drops in with another pre-released single, Ready Set Go featuring the electronic deejay duo and vocalists known as Capital Kings. The song serves as a call to action – a pull from the Great Commission. The featured duo drops the lines “Give me the green light/ show me the finish line/… no more stalling/ it’s just ready set go” before Royal Tailor takes over again – “Broken hearts on the city streets, but/ I can hear that You’re calling me to/ be the hope, be the light, be the love/ right now, start it right now.” The band transitions into a song of assurance with Remain, insisting that love remains through it all. Sometimes a fresh start is needed too, which the band addresses in Start Over, blending soft vocals in the verses with anthem beats in the chorus. The album closes with a bonus track, Fight For Freedom (Let the Walls Fall). The final track enters slowly, quietly, pressing heavily on the background of rhythmic vocals. The tempo builds, begun with a quick riff on the guitar, and transforms into a roaring choral chant crying out for freedom, singing “Glory, glory/ Hallelujah” as they declare their fight to create the world they want to see – a world that finds its freedom in Jesus Christ.