CD Roses Kings Castles (CD 4359114),
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Roses Kings Castles

  • 1. Entroubled
    2. Horses
    3. Sparkling Bootz
    4. Broken Homes
    5. Burn Your Town Down
    6. Brass Winter
    7. Run and Hide
    8. Never Certain
    9. Folk Song
    10. Fool's Revenge
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): RKCCD 1

  • Credits
    ProducerSebastian Rogers
    EngineerSebastian Rogers

    Adam Ficek may be best known as the drummer and one-time manager for Pete Doherty's post Libertines band Babyshambles, but with the self-titled debut from his one-man band Roses Kings Castles, he establishes his own musical voice. Though Ficek had a hand in writing several of Babyshambles' tunes, Doherty's charisma and chaos tend to overshadow the contributions of the rest of the band. Truth be told, Roses Kings Castles doesn't stray too far from the cheerier, cheekier side of Babyshambles' sound: Doherty and Ficek have similar gifts for cleverly detailed lyrics and immediate, almost singsongy melodies. However, Ficek sticks with charmingly low-key indie pop instead of straying into Babyshambles' jagged rock. The aptly named "Sparklin' Bootz," which practically glitters with bright glockenspiels, and the witty character sketch "Horses" sound a little like a rougher around the edges Belle & Sebastian, or Last Shadow Puppets if they chose to record in a bedroom instead of with an orchestra. At times, Roses Kings Castles gets a little too sweet and samey for its own good, but even then, its arrangements are lovely and intimate: "Burn Your Town Down" does more with one trumpet than some songs do with a full brass section, and "Brass Winter"'s gentle, genteel piano and bassoon are as cozy as a cup of hot chocolate. The best songs here, however, are complete opposites. "Entroubled" begins the album with scrappy lo-fi rock that's as jaunty as it is brilliantly simple, while the penultimate "Folk Song" is a pretty, all-too-brief reverie set to rippling acoustic guitars. Despite the occasional awkward moment, Roses Kings Castles is sometimes mischievous, sometimes tender, and entirely charming. ~ Heather Phares

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