When the new We The King’s EP, Secret Valentine, came out I was ecstatic. Their cliché lyrics and catchy melodies always found a way to cling onto my brain and linger there for days. It starts off with the radio mix version of one of their previously released hits, “Secret Valentine.” This “remix” begins with the chorus and an overall softer melody but continues right into the original version of the song. Why they decided to place this barely-edited replica as the first track, or include it at all, is beyond me, and concluded the dull introduction. The next track, “Feel Good Inc.,” is their remake of a song originally created by the Gorillaz. Their attempt left me yearning to click the next button for the entire four minutes and thirty-three seconds. To be fair, I never liked the original song in the first place. I did, however, expect it to be slightly more enjoyable than the first. Sadly, after the first twenty seconds all my expectations were shot down. The track consists of a few minor additions that leave a We The King’s mark on the song, such as “don’t stop, get it, get it, we the kings all up in this,” a melody that’s not ridiculously overwhelming so the lyrics can actually be heard, and a guitar solo at the end, but besides those mediocre incorporations is still an unfavorable song. The third track, “Make It or Not,” holds a beautiful melody with the usual cliché love lyrics, “when everything seems lost, just know you’ll find me there,” but at some points is hidden behind the awkward vocals. Don’t get me wrong, I adore Travis’s voice, but in this song it doesn’t fit and seemingly destroys the song’s harmony. “Bring Out Your Best” is the song that resembles closest to the band’s previous material. When listening to this song, I kept on singing (in my head) lyrics from “Secret Valentine.” It would play “I place myself for you, ‘cause that’s all I can do…” and I would continue it with “we’ll write a song, that turns out the lights…” This track, with its identical melodic style and familiar love-related lyrics, is a much-needed improvement from the first three tracks. After listening to the first four tracks I started to form doubts about We The Kings. Suddenly, track five began to play, and all my doubts flew away. Chills ran up my back as I listened to the acoustic version of “Secret Valentine.” In the song, the melody takes backseat while Travis’s voice mesmerizes on center stage. If I had to conjure up the perfect scene in a movie, where boy and girl finally get to live happily ever after, this song would be playing in the background. The EP finally concludes with a holiday song, “There Is A Light.” Jingle bells and bongo drums make this track a decent alternative to the traditional holiday tune. Overall, Secret Valentine wasn’t what I expected and didn’t meet my full expectations. If you happen to come across it with free time, then I recommend you take a risk and give it a shot; otherwise, move on because you won’t be missing much.
2 out of 5 [AH]