King of Fools

King of Fools

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King of Fools Review

by Alex Henderson

Inevitably, some worthwhile releases will slip through the cracks and be ignored. In 1991, one such release was this self-titled debut album by King of Fools, an appealing but little known alternative pop/rock trio whose influences ranged from David Bowie to U2 to Simple Minds. This CD should have done well, but, regrettably, the independent, New York-based Imago Recording Company was unable to break King of Fools. Produced by John Punter and King of Fools' lead singer Roy White, the album favors a very clean and sleek production style. But clean doesn't have to mean cold or sterile, and while the disc sounds well produced, it still has a lot of heart. Ultimately, it isn't the production that defines King of Fools' album -- it's the quality of the songs and the warmth of the performances. The writing is solid, and King of Fools members White (who contributes rhythm guitar and keyboards in addition to his lead vocals), David Levy (bass, background vocals), and Matt Byrne (lead guitar, background vocals) bring a lot of passion and enthusiasm to the material. The songs would have been impressive even without all the studio gloss; had King of Fools decided to play an acoustic set in a small coffee house and record unplugged versions of these songs, the trio still would have been capable of winning you over. But, regrettably, most of the pop/rock world didn't even know that this album existed -- and equally regrettable is the fact that King of Fools never recorded a second album.

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