REVIEW: Royal BloodHow Did We Get So Dark? (2017)

After the success of their brilliant eponymous debut album, through their Facebook page I saw that the band were in the studio recording a follow-up. I was genuinely excited to see what the band would do next – as anyone fan of the band would feel, I guess – and when the first single emerged “Lights Out”.

I certainly liked the song – I still listen to it occasionally now – but I felt that hearing it alongside the full record it would make more sense, as it always does. Fast forward a bit and I’m able to listen to the record – loudly. However the full record does have many standout moments as their debut album did/does, and even after a while of studiously listening to it, I still find the only odd moment here or there that I remember – a certain riff, a particular drum pattern – rather than actual songs themselves.

Here is the rub: I like the album and, at the same, I don’t. For me, if given the choice (and choice is my weapon of choice), I would gladly listen to their first album over and over again. This album sounds too…polished to me, like they’ve really spent their time agonising over everything, whereas the first album sounded more organic.

Unlike many albums which I might listen to later and completely change my opinion, I think mine will stay true with this one, which is a shame. But in reality there’s only so much you can do with their sound.



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