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Articles Home » 2016 Articles » Culver Kingz - 2016 This Time
Culver Kingz - 2016 This Time

ARTIST: Culver Kingz
ALBUM: This Time
LABEL: Escape Music
YEAR: 2016
SPONSOR: Escape Music - Connecting Music Portal


LINEUP: Michael Thompson - all instruments * Billy Trudel - vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Better Days * 02 Chains Get Broken * 03 Eyes Of Barbados * 04 Dirty Secret * 05 Wan Chai Girl * 06 R & B Love Song * 07 This Time * 08 Don't Take This Love * 09 Forever * 10 Coming Home Soon * 11 You're Not Alone


The Culver Kingz are none other than the pairing of West Coast giants of their field: Michael Thompson and Billy Trudel. Signed to Escape Music, don't expect AOR from the glory days. This is pop rock with a hint of west coast and cruisy smooth jazz. Ideal for listening whilst sipping on a lazy Pina Colada somewhere under the setting sun. The name of the band was derived after both blokes spent time living in Culver City back in the 80's when they were first introduced to each other and formed the band Slang in 1983, which after two years amounted to nothing. Having both gone on to other significant projects, the duo reunite thirty years for another crack, though this time, there's no pressure to deliver, and after so many decades in the business, they can bring their collective experience together to deliver music that will please most listeners here.

The Songs
Some tracks definitely work. The guitar cranky 'Chains Get Broken' is a definite reminder of that classic Michael Thompson Band era, but it's the subtle reflective guitar melodies of 'Eyes Of The Barbados', the super cool title-track 'This Time', the velvet luxury of 'Don't Take This Love' and 'You're Not Alone' that makes these compositions work nicely. Mostly very easy on the ear, and if some of you enjoyed Neal Schon's 'Beyond The Thunder' or even some of Mark Spiro's easier material, then the Culver Kingz should work for you. Probably the only two songs which don't work for me are the opener 'Dirty Secret' which was too Terence Trent-Darby for its own good, while the hand-clap percussion and other rhythmic ideas on 'Wan Chai Girl' tried hard to be Planet 3 but didn't quite get there.

In Summary
Still, I think the majority of songs get a definite pass mark, and I like the fact that mostly this is a laid back album that doesn't live off the merits of their past history. Guitar buffs shouldn't expect a masterclass from Mr Thompson; I think he's having a nice cheap day out playing a bunch of songs with his mate!

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