Broke Royals – The Luxury of Time Pt. 3
Hailing from the nation’s capital, Broke Royals are a top flight duo writing music that’s intelligent and accessible. They have written and recorded three EP length efforts since their 2014 debut and the latest, The Luxury of Time Part Three, is the obvious third installment in the unit’s opus they’ve been working on since their formation. It is certainly notable that a musical outfit specializing in short, yet sonically expansive, songs would aim for a conceptual high water mark so early on. It smacks of the sort of ambition we typically associate with older artists, i.e. Pink Floyd or their ilk, rather than a synth rock two piece from Washington D.C, but these are clearly songs aiming just as much for the head as they are for the heart. Broke Royals are a band looking to provide listeners with a comprehensive experience.
Their efforts get off to a good start with the first song “On Your Own”. The band’s younger admirers will certainly identify intensely with the song’s head-held-high assertion of independence. Massive harmonies are expertly integrated into the arrangement and sweeten an already highly melodic song. It’s a credit to their skills as songwriters that this song, structurally quite simple and musically straightforward, gains so much added gravitas and sweep when filtered through their vision. The second song “New Suns” ratchets up the intensity with its impressive timekeeping and another rousing vocal. Broke Royals never veer from their vision of keeping the EP’s tracks at a manageable length and songs like this benefit most – without any self-indulgence or overwrought theatrics, “New Suns” retains maximum punch and musicality. The electronic pulse and sparkling synthesizer melodies running through “Young Tigers” help make this a breezy and appealing number, but those elements unfortunately never culminate in a dramatic way. No one instrument is ever employed by the band with an eye towards dominating a song and, on this track, the guitar is a perfect example of their method. The six string work has a light touch, but clearly announces itself and adds color to the piece. The instrument is just another thread in the rock pop tapestries they weave from track to track.
“Love, Youth, & Glory” has a tempo reminiscent of something rolling down hill and brings back the duo’s beefy harmonies for superb effect. It would be a mistake to say the song has a brisk pace, but Broke Royals do keep things moving in a much timelier fashion than earlier songs and the implied urgency is welcome. The EP’s last full length song mimics “Love, Youth, & Glory” in some ways – “Heartless Comes Around” has the same insistent, but slightly disjointed tempo and commercially oriented harmonies are at the fore. There’s a greater energy here, even the spark of inspiration, and this distinction alone pushes the track over the top.
This is a largely hit affair, rather than miss, and even the glancing blows can still be honored for the effort. It isn’t points for trying. Instead, it’s respect for a duo that is clearly pushing themselves and their music in an effort to make an indelible mark on their audiences. The Luxury of Time Pt. 3 is the result of such efforts and well worth a listen.
8 out of 10 stars.