Friday, October 22, 2010


Song: Superstar
Artist: The Ark
Album: In Ful Regalia

When I was pleasantly surprised by finding out Benjamin Diamond had had a new album out (that was two years old) I also happened upon another band I really connected with several years that ALSO had a new album, that came out earlier this year.  Sweden's glam-rock goofs The Ark had quietly released their fifth album this April entitled "In Full Regalia."  (Though with this band, I'm sure it wasn't SO quiet in their native Sweden.)

I'd first heard of The Ark back in 2004 when they were getting a little US marketing push for their third album, "State of the Ark."  I had flipped for their killer single "One of Us is Gonna Die Young," as well as the video which was all kinds of strange, and made me think that glam was on it's way back.  (No Adam Lambert, it wasn't... but you should have done that song on A.I.)  The album turned out to be one of my favorites of the year.  Their follow up three years later, "Prayer for the Weekend," save for the killer single "The Worrying Kind," left me a little disappointed, but was still very good.  Just couldn't stand alongside "State of the Ark" as a whole.

Well, unfortunately... I'm feeling the same way about "Regalia" as I did about their last.  It certainly has it's moments, and starts very promisingly...

Opener "Take a Shine to Me," is a great kick-off, a sweet glammy song that makes you feel good and gets you geared up for some kick-butt catchy rock.  Then comes first single "Superstar" which has the strut... it just falls short of being listed among their best.  It grows on you the more you hear it...  but they slow things down on their third song, second single "Stay With Me," which is rather nice... but I think was a mistake as it really just sets the album into a nosedive.

But that's the big problem with "Regalia," it's a much more quiet record than I've heard form the band.  And the semi-limp rockers that make up the second half of the album just leave me a little cold.  I hate when I fall for a band or album, only constantly compare any new material that doesn't seem to have the same kick to the old stuff.  Frustrating.

That said, this isn't a complete 180, and if you're familiar with the band you will most likely find stuff here that you'll like.  And "Superstar," upon a few listens does really get you going.  So maybe album six will really do it for them.  We'll see.



Take a Shine to Me (Live)

Stay with Me

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