Cincinnati, Ohio singer-songwriter Royal Holland is relatively new to the scene having only started writing and playing his own songs. Even with that being said, there is plenty of good things to be said about Holland and his songs. Holland is currently in the middle of creating a 3-CD collection of music one CD at a time that will later be compiled into one collection to be released on record. Having already released the first of the CDs called Volume One- The Maze, Holland is currently getting ready to release the second collection called Volume Two- Flamingo.
Royal Holland begins his new release with the song called “The Grave”. The track ends up being rather peculiar and interesting at the same time as the track begins with just a simple beat created with the help of a drumkit and a bass. The beat that is created by the two instruments exists and carries on for about a minute before a soft acoustic guitar joins in to add just a little flavor to the beat. Holland begins singing the lyrics to the track and building on the beat. Throughout the track, more elements are added before the track comes through in all of its full potential. When all of the elements come together on the track, the final result is a track that contains a simple loop-like beat with a folk-like quality in the basic musical foundation with a very strong electric guitar part added in that gives a lot of energy to the track. While the song takes a while to fully get into, the song has plenty of character and ends up being a lot of fun.
Volume Two – Flamingo from Royal Holland continues with the title track of “Flamingo”. Just like with the track before it, Royal Holland takes his time building up the track. The song begins with a very different feel than “The Grave”. “Flamingo” begins with a soft synthesizer as the main instrument with a drumbeat in the back. The synthesizer is joined by a slightly stronger organ that adds more substance to the track before Holland joins in on vocals. The song feels very much like an ode to the bird as Holland sings of his encounter with the animal.
The new release from Royal Holland continues with the track “Holy Moses”. With this track, Holland slows the pace of the music down with a track that is based mainly around the acoustic guitar. The acoustic guitar and a gentle beat created by a tambourine make up the majority of the music for the track. That simplicity seems to work well with the lyrics about spending the day just enjoying the time reflecting on things. Like the previous tracks, the song builds with Holland and album producer Brian Olive adding more elements as the song goes along. “Holy Moses” contains a much softer musical approach than the previous tracks and that sets it apart from the other songs.
With the track “Polaroid Blues,” Royal Holland changes directions in the music once again as he picks up the energy of the music on the release. The blues-inspired rock sound on the track rocks much harder Rock And Roll sound than any of the previous tracks. The song belongs somewhere between the time in music of the British Invasion from bands like The Beatles and the American equivalent that happened afterward that featured bands like The Raspberries. While the track does feel a bit retro in its sound, the song still helps to give Volume Two – Flamingo a nice mix of musical styles.
Royal Holland’s latest release comes to a close with the track “These Mundane Lives”. The guitar, bass and drums feel of the music is mixed with a quiet organ. The track begins with a few seconds of what sounds like folk-rock before Holland changes the feel to give the music an influence that makes it feels like something from the early days of Rock And Roll while still containing a folk-like sound to it. The way the vocals on the track blend together in harmony seems reminiscent of the Everly Brothers. The lyrics on the track contain a generous amount of humor as Holland describes his tears in the way many would describe people. “These Mundane Lives” ends up having as much going on as “The Grave” did at the beginning of the release.
Volume Two- Flamingo from Royal Holland is a solid five-song collection of music. The musician’s use of many different musical influences throughout the tracks makes for a release that will satisfy many different types of music lovers.