The Kings

Amazon Beach

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The Kings' debut, naturally dubbed The Kings Are Here, was a neck-breaking blast of party rock the world hasn't known before or since; yet cracks started to show in their sophomore effort, Amazon Beach. Über producer Bob Ezrin remained on board, but his attention was divided among other projects (such as the similar Kiss conundrum Music from "The Elder"), so the Canadian brainiac did more harm than good this time around. Strange production choices abound, cluttering opener "All the Way" and the blooming "Fools Are in Love." "What Does It Take" even grasps at Billy Joel AOR. Certain passages approach the wit and verve of classic Kings (i.e., the first record), but the energy seems misdirected, lacking the snap and crackle of classic pop; as a result, the songs, like the entire album, peter out before crossing the finish line. Now obsolete, Amazon Beach became the band's Waterloo, which is a tragedy as the Kings do rule, and deserve better.

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