The Royal Royal
The Paradigm Collective
Sick of the musical rut you’re bound to each week for your service of worship? The Return of the King is the remedy. With a bright and earnest approach to the genre of music for worship, The Royal Royal offer musical diversity and a rare spark of touching creativity that is completely welcomed. Taking advantage of a broad array of synth, guitar, and a lighter than air production approach, The Royal Royal set themselves apart, delivering Christian quirk-pop/worship-indie-rock at its finest.
With short profound twists of commonplace, the lyrics of the songs on The Return of the King shine new light on age-old themes in often-unexpected ways—working almost like haikus or even Taize-styled meditative worship. This is perhaps best demonstrated on “On and On (Find Me)” where the repeated bridge, when believed and sung as a united prayer of a congregation, could have powerful effects: “You lead, you lead me Jesus. You lead, you lead me Jesus.”
The lyric simplicity of songs such as “Every Little Bit of Praise” can be seen both as a strength and weakness. There is a sheer joy in the childlike proclamations, even poetic vitality in lines such as “Every little bit of praise belongs to you,” but at other times the simplicity misses a bit in emotional depth.
Back in 1990, MxPx dressed Keith Green’s classic “You Put This Love in My Heart” in their skate-punk-pop musical clothes. The Finochio brothers have once again made a new song from this wonderful prayer with a stripped bare but emotionally charged rendition.
Filled with celebration and a fresh approach to worship, The Return of the King is not just an encouragement for church leaders, it represents much needed musical movement where such movement is a rare commodity.
Sounds like: Bethel’s Tides, Hillsong United’s Zion, Vampire Weekend for Christians, and ever-so-slight notes of ’90s glam rock.
Most singable: “On and On (Find Me)”
Strongest Scripture: “The Lights,” (Eph 2:5; Ps 55)
The Whole Package: “A Real Strength,” (Isa 40:30-3; Ps 4)
JA 4 stars