12 Songs, 47 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Compiled from their two previous UK releases, the Duke & The King’s self-titled American debut is a fine distillation of what this folk-pop quartet does best. Combining the introspection of vintage Neil Young with the warm funkiness of an early Jackson 5 single, singer/songwriter Simone Felice (of the Felice Brothers) and partners Robert “Chicken” Burke, Nowell Haskins and Simi Stone radiate a neo-hippie spirit that avoids psychedelic excess in favor of something more organic. Biblical imagery lends “Have You Seen It?” and “Hudson River” a distinctly gospel tinge, while “No Easy Way Out” has the rollicking energy of prime country rock. The poetic musing of “The Morning I Get to Hell” is grounded by the sober advice of “If You Ever Get Famous” and the empathetic vibes of “Shine On You.” Felice’s honeyed vocal tones are well complimented by his band mates’ R&B-influenced singing, lending tracks like the buoyant “Shaky” the feel of a communal love-fest. The Duke & The King do it all with a nonchalance that doesn’t disguise the insight of their lyrics or the suppleness of their grooves.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Compiled from their two previous UK releases, the Duke & The King’s self-titled American debut is a fine distillation of what this folk-pop quartet does best. Combining the introspection of vintage Neil Young with the warm funkiness of an early Jackson 5 single, singer/songwriter Simone Felice (of the Felice Brothers) and partners Robert “Chicken” Burke, Nowell Haskins and Simi Stone radiate a neo-hippie spirit that avoids psychedelic excess in favor of something more organic. Biblical imagery lends “Have You Seen It?” and “Hudson River” a distinctly gospel tinge, while “No Easy Way Out” has the rollicking energy of prime country rock. The poetic musing of “The Morning I Get to Hell” is grounded by the sober advice of “If You Ever Get Famous” and the empathetic vibes of “Shine On You.” Felice’s honeyed vocal tones are well complimented by his band mates’ R&B-influenced singing, lending tracks like the buoyant “Shaky” the feel of a communal love-fest. The Duke & The King do it all with a nonchalance that doesn’t disguise the insight of their lyrics or the suppleness of their grooves.

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