Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Good King Friday Crosses Over

Named after the character from the legendary show, Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, Good King Friday are an intriguing avant garde pop group who mix classical arrangements with pop music to achieve something artfully good. Their self-titled album sounds as if a string quartet plopped itself in the middle of a rock band and made itself at home. It's all very unusual, dramatic and sweeping and sounds like a classier version of stuff like Trans Siberian Orchestra or even a rockier version of The Rachels.

Good King Friday takes a symphonic approach to rock and roll and arranges it all such that it is filled with beauty, theatrics, top notch playing and songs so engrossing it's hard to turn away from. From the soaring vocals to the slightly depressing string arrangements and even the odd clarinet run Good King Friday writes songs that are intricate, technically challenging, emotional, artful and compelling. This is an album that will intrigue your ears and make your brain work at the same time and it's great. To manipulate a famous lyric, “Rock and roll could never ever compose like this.” Simply put, Good King Friday has come up with a classical crossover record it’s ok to like!

Far from your standard rock record, Good King Friday takes the normal parameters of what makes a good band and throws them out the window. Good King Friday, the band, takes us back and allows us to get swept up by challenging arrangements and instrumentation not normally given the center stage in rock music. It's for these reasons as well as the fact that Good King Friday writes great songs that their album is such a great listen. If you like classical music and rock and roll you'll find Good King Friday the happiest medium between them. For no other band today so successfully straddles the line between both worlds as easy or as refined as Good King Friday does.

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