Album Reviews

Album Review: Fly Moon Royalty – Fly Moon Royalty

on February 24, 2012, 7:59am
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In the first 30 seconds of “Higher”, the lead-off track on Fly Moon Royalty‘s debut album, the music bounces from indie-friendly synths to Latin percussion groove to electro-pop riffs, like Janelle Monae crossed with MGMT. Those disparate threads coalesce perfectly under singer AdraBoo’s soulful vocals, steeped in old school R&B with a rock edginess that betrays her Seattle roots. Thanks to groups like The Weeknd, and continued efforts from the Dap Tone posse, we’ve recently seen R&B find itself comfortably in bed with the indie rock sound. Count Fly Moon Royalty as another step forward for modern soul music.

At times there’s a backwards gaze on this record, such as the raucous backbeat and retro swing feel of “Roxy” and “Lemonade”. The latter goes even further down the neo-nostalgia pathway, with handclaps, piano, and glockenspiel evoking the Motown of the Supremes and Temptations. But Fly Moon Royalty just as easily delves into 21st-century, synth-heavy electro-pop on “Android Love”.

AdraBoo’s vocal lines are somewhere in the quagmire between hip-hop, R&B, and rock, working with the melodies of soul but the fast-paced rhythms of rap. On “Higher”, her verses move with a prosody and rhythm lively enough to be exciting and interesting, while still contrasting with the full-voiced chorus. It’s an effect that’s replicated often throughout the record, and always to great effect.

On the flipside, the album’s major detraction is the seemingly non-sequitur rapped verses from DJ, producer, and songwriter Action Jackson (shouldn’t that name have been retired years ago?). At best, his rapping is just average; at worst, it reminds me of the equally jarring hip-hop verse on Rebecca Black’s “Friday”. Luckily, his intelligent musicality comes out in the original grooves and creative samples that form the backbones of these stellar songs.

Essential Tracks: “Higher”, “Lemonade”, “Commuter Train”, and “In the Woods”

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Erinvilella83
February 24, 2012 at 10:45 pm

I hightly disagree the beats and lyrics of action jackson ( a name he has stuck with throught the years instead of changing it to something main stream and cheeseball) have been rocked out to on dance floors from one coastline to the other for many years. His diversitty from his beats to his music with sex panther and his colaberation on the west coast with adra boo show what an wamazing artist he actually is. This is just one mans opinion mike. Your awesome and i love you..im gonna put your music on right now in honor of you and your talent…love from the mitten. E