We The Kings' 'Somewhere, Somehow' review: Their best album yet

We the Kings have changed the title of

We the Kings have changed the title of their fourth full-length to Somewhere Somehow. The record was originally titled Vitam Regum and will be released on Dec. 16. We the Kings are a melodic emo-pop band from Bradenton, Florida, a small Southern town that doubles as the home base for Tropicana orange juice. (Credit: Handout)

Despite Travis Clark's sweet-sounding vocals, We The Kings has always been a scrappy band.

So when the Florida band decided to fund their fourth album through an Indiegogo campaign with the help of their fans, it was no surprise they got the job done. What is surprising is how much they improved after going it alone.

"Somewhere, Somehow" (Ozone/We The Kings) is the band's best album yet, filled with strong pop hooks and pristine production. "We could rule the world, own everything," Clark sings on "Queen of Hearts," one of three strong songs he co-wrote with Steve Shebby, who also co-produced the tracks with him. "I'll be the Jay Z, you be the B."

While many of their Warped Tour contemporaries, like Fall Out Boy and Panic! At the Disco, have opted to try out other genres, We The Kings have decided to continue to hone their sound, making everything catchier and harder-hitting.

"That Feeling," another Clark-Shebby collaboration, pushes hard on the galloping, thumping verse and bridge, before leaning back for the sweet chorus. Soon, it's off to the races again, which is a clever way to approximate the feeling of young love they're singing about. It's that extra layer of artistry that makes "Somewhere, Somehow" sound so much more impressive than its predecessors.

On "Art of War" -- which Clark wrote for the recent "Hunger Games" soundtrack, though it wasn't used -- the band shows how it can add depth to the lyrics while staying on a chosen course. On "Somewhere, Somehow" they've made it.


WE THE KINGS

"Somewhere, Somehow"

THE GRADE B+

BOTTOM LINE Finding their own way in pop/rock

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