ALBUM REVIEW: King Charles – ‘Out Of My Mind’

Returning with his third studio album, Charles Costa (aka King Charles) has released Out of My Mind, a sonically incoherent yet lyrically revealing album into Charles’ discovery of his identity and musicianship. Although classed as an alt-rock-folk-indie etcetera artist, this new album offers a new twist of all said genres, encompassing a number of bold synthesisers and electrifying guitar riffs alongside his typical style, portraying his journey over the last four years since his sophomore album Gamble For A Rose.

King Charles initiates his return with a duo of complex, dark, neo-soul, bass-centric tracks; pouring out his soul with his expression of “trying to understand what it is be human, to be an artist, to be a monster”. The tracks demonstrate an eerie tone, yet purity to Charles’ character. His attempts to exceed his known potential with a heterogeneous set of instruments and tracks show his determination to be a superlative. His music video for Deeper Love leading into Freak presents Charles in a broken state, drunk and surrounded by ‘superiors’, judging his every move – isolating him. Charles’ disconnection from the world is the driving force of this album; his attempts to change and prove his musical identity and reputation around critics appears to be the focus-point.

Watch the music video for Deeper Love/Freak here.

The progression of this album sees obvious changes in genre throughout as King Charles’ self-discovery develops. Although musically incoherent, the changes in these genres are noticeably an organic representation of his journey in the last four years. The largo nature of the opening three tracks shifts into the egoistical funk track Money is God, offering his critique on society’s driving force into a different mind and intention of what modern romance has become. The thespian aura of Money is God and Watchman idealises Charles’ ideas of love into a powerful message and story of modern romance.

The latter half of Out Of My Mind are a completely new set of tracks to King Charles’ fanbase, with the former five singles released by King Charles imposing his new direction in his creations. These later tracks solidify Charles’ use of synthesisers, intricate melodies and punchy guitars. The mounting driving bass synthesisers appear to underline Charles’ newfound power and drive in his identity, being a regular feature in the majority of tracks. She’s A Freak and Drive All Night are synth-driven tracks with an electric, new impression that shows King Charles’ diversity in his composition, and the meaning behind genre in his portrayal of life since Gamble For A Rose. Charles’ explains “I started exploring a new energy with this record that reflected the changes in how I felt since I wrote my last album.  Life was running at a different tempo, and the different cities I found myself in largely contributed to setting a new pace. I wanted to challenge myself as an artist and a singer to see what I was capable of”. This energy appears to show itself in top-form in the penultimate track Watchman, a mellow but powerful track that builds to show Charles’ musicianship at its best.

With tracks such as Feel These Heavy Times, the album concludes with King Charles’ pessimistic and self-loathing nature of being unable to be with his love. A melancholic number alluding to a deeper problem of a lack of self-acceptance in his musical, personal and romantic lives. The conclusion of Out Of My Mind (with a strong blame on the culture King Charles resides in) seems to halt his ability to achieve what he so wishes.

Despite incoherence musically, King Charles has created a beautiful album that fuses a deep personal meaning in his lyrics, emphasised by his specific choice of an electric synthetic tone that binds this incoherent bundle of genres to form Charles Costa’s story. This album exceeds his prior albums sonically and lyrically – his best album yet.

★★★★☆

Listen to Out Of My Mind here.

King Charles has rescheduled his tour of Out Of My Mind to October later this year. You can buy your tickets here.

OCTOBER 2020

12th Bristol – Thekla

13th – Birmingham – Castle & Falcon

14th – Cambridge – Junction

15th – Nottingham – Glee Club

16th – London – Omeara

17th – Manchester – Band on the Wall

18th – Newcastle – Hit the North

19th – Glasgow – Classic Grand

Follow King Charles on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Spotify & Apple Music.

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