Beautifully Melodic, Thoughtfully Arranged, Wonderfully Executed
I first heard Royal’s music when he was the supporting act for Sarah Slean on her tour in support of her record “The Baroness”. I don’t quite recall, but either the show started early or we were late (I have a feeling it was the latter), but as soon as we found our seats, Royal walked on the stage. I was busy fidgeting with my phone and taking off my coat, but as soon as Royal began performing, he quickly captured my attention. Within seconds I was a fan, and I have been one to this day.
I've had the pleasure of seeing Royal perform live on numerous occasions, and I've had to pick my jaw up from the floor each and every single time. He is a musician who is undeniably talented while sitting behind the piano or with a guitar on his knee. His vocals are warm and powerful , and his soothing, infectious melodies and poetic lyrical style will surely impress.
It's been three years since his last full-length record was released, and since then, he's taken his music from coast-to-coast and overseas, and he has developed a loyal and strong fanbase. Fans have been anxiously awaiting the release of this record, and well, the wait was worth it. "The Waiting" is an outstanding record - beautifully melodic, thoughtfully arranged, and wonderfully executed. As a singer/ songwriter/ multi-instrumentalist/ producer, Royal is able to hold down writing, performance, and production duties with ease, which can easily be seen in his prior releases. On this record, however, Royal enlisted the production ear of famed producer and songwriter Pierre Marchand, and spent time in the studio with the live band that he has assembled, consisting of Dean Drouillard on guitars, Steve Zsirai on bass and Adam Warner on drums. These guys are a tight live act, and have truly put together an amazingly polished record.
"Do You Recall" - In my opinion, “Do You Recall” is the best track on the record. Radio-friendly and incredibly catchy, I have been playing this one on repeat since I first purchased the record. The juxtaposition of a melancholic lyric and an upbeat melody works incredibly well, and goes to show that there is always a shred of optimism, even in a tale of loss. “... do you recall? what made us fall? ...”
"The Island" - A track that has been played live in the past, this quickly became a favourite of mine when I first heard him play it live in Winnipeg. Lyrically, I consider this to be one of the record’s strongest, and melodically, it’s easy to sing along to, difficult to get out of your head. Royal’s tales of love are always beautifully poetic and moving, and this song is no exception. “... you were the keeper of the key, and the holder of my destiny ...”
"A Discovery (We're Lovely)" - Another one that Royal debuted during his live shows (most notably at his headlining show at The Mod Club, which was captured by CBC), this was originally a song built around an incredibly catchy piano riff. On the final arrangement that made the record, the song has been transformed into something completely different, with rhythmic acoustic guitar, organ and strings in the mix. Well worth a listen and definitely a favourite. “... between them I see the signs ...”
"You Can't Go Back" – Royal opens the record doing what he does best - a dreamy piano ballad that is wonderfully performed and produced. Absolutely beautiful. “... no conjuring the past – you can`t go back ...”
Overall, Royal delivers again with his third full-length release (fifth overall), and fans should be delighted. “The Waiting” is an incredible masterpiece by a Canadian talent who deserves to be celebrated. Well worth the purchase. Royal is also a class act – always takes the time to show his fans how appreciative he is. If you get the chance, catch him when he comes by your city – you won’t regret it. Support local talent!
Pure pleasure. Beginning to end.
He does it again. Poignant lyrics, deftly crafted into Infectious melodies, emboldened with deep and rich piano riffs and soulful, arcing vocals.
"You Can't Go Back."
"Birds On Sunday." (the build towards keyboard and vocal crescendo near the end of this song is fantastic)
"Tonight I'll Be Your Guide." Can't wait to slow dance with my wife to that one.
A towering accomplishment.
I had never heard of Royal until he opened for David Gray on the Canadian leg of his tour. He was the perfect lead act for what was an incredible evening. Royal Wood is one of Canada's best kept secrets as far as I can tell. The more I listen, the more I want. He has a very pure style about him and he is even better live! I highly recommend this album. Keep up the great work Royal and you will soon be a secret no more!