Royal Republic – LoveCop

Odyssey Music
Release: 07.06.2024

It’s the year 2024, and yet ROYAL REPUBLIC’s concept album manages to take you back to the 80s. But as the saying goes: every trend comes back, and why not the sound (and look) that defined that era?
Many of the songs on the album “LoveCop” are probably already familiar to fans (and some rock radio listeners), as the band used the tactic of releasing a large number of singles before the album was released. This includes “My House” as the first single, followed by the title track “LoveCop”, the power ballad “Lazerlove”, the danceable “Ain’t got time” and finally “Wow! Wow! Wow!”.

Even before the album’s release, the band has already offered a really successful insight on the album’s sound and shown what you can expect in terms of sound – songs that burn themselves into your memory, some that make you want to dance, while others represent the (perhaps eagerly awaited) ballads on the record. All in the same yet varied style, while singer Adam Grahn shows off his vocal versatility wonderfully on this album.

The last few albums were very similar vocally, but here they unpack facets that you wouldn’t have expected and thanks to which you have to listen twice to one or two songs to find out whether it’s the same person or whether they’ve used a clone with different vocals.

The fact that Adam Grahn likes the sound of the saxophone and, like the rest of the band, likes to work with clichés, is immediately apparent from the intro to the opener “My House” – wonderfully kitschy, you immediately have the 80s in front of your eyes, before things really get rocking. The song has a catchy beat and eats its way into your memory – whether you want it to or not, it just happens. The lyrics are simple, you can learn them easily and quickly and then sing them at concerts – while moving wildly to the beat. This worked brilliantly at least last weekend at the Unser Aller Festival in Gifhorn. And: the song is fun and makes you want to hear the rest of the album!

“Ain’t got time” is in the same vein – and even if the lyrics say ‘I ain’t got time to dance’ so beautifully, the song definitely invites you to dance during a concert and add some pogo a little here and there. What stands out for me here are the heights reached in the vocals and how the band managed to squeeze such different sounding song parts into one song. The song is not 100% well-rounded and coherent, but maybe you can turn a blind eye to that and be lenient, because then again “LoveCop” is as well-rounded as a song can be. It starts with a great guitar riff, the melody of which runs through almost the entire song, and the vocal parts form a wonderful contrast between lower and higher passages. It’s a bit like “Good Cop, Bad Cop”, only on a vocal and musical level, and there’s something about that. And: who can resist a great guitar solo?

“Freakshow” is also one of those songs where you have an idea of the direction it’s going to take right from the first seconds – in an exciting, rocking direction. Once again, the band has created a song that invites you to party and sing along, uses clichés and plays with words wonderfully – there’s no other way to do it than these guys from Sweden do it. There is also something to smirk about, because who wants to be serious all the time? The fact that you can combine your humorous side with rock music is once again clearly demonstrated here.

But then again, what to do with “Wow! Wow! Wow!” – well, I don’t know. It seems like a wild mix of everything that was somehow still in the creative band’s heads and urgently needed to come out. Starting with the not particularly unique title, the music continues in a chaotic manner – a bit of saxophone here, a bit of strings there, unconvincing lyrics, confused instrument mixes and vocal styles. For me, a song to press the “next” button, unfortunately. It continues with reggae sounds on “Sha La-La Lady”, and even after that you are left with a question mark in your head – lyrically and vocally very unconventional, the overall sound doesn’t help you to understand the song either. It does have a comparatively clear musical line, but at least I can’t grasp the song in its entirety.

They have not only shown that they can do so much better with the previously discussed tracks, but also with the rest – the two (power) ballads “Lazerlove” and “Electra” can amaze over their entire length. Me at least. Whilst “Electra” starts with a screeching guitar riff, it very quickly flattens out into a softness and lets you sink into another world. The verses are wonderfully light and soft, and show once again that the band are also masters of the softer tones, while the slightly rockier chorus then adds the necessary momentum so that the song doesn’t ripple along and thus becomes a success. “Lazerlove”, on the other hand, focuses on calm and wonderfully sensitive guitar playing right from the start, with few drums and a truly angelic voice from Adam Grahn. A song that should give every sentient fan goosebumps. But again, the chorus is used to bring more melody into the song – a song carried by slow but very well done guitar playing. Definitively a “must play”.

“Boots” is at least one song on this concept album that stands out a little. Because it presents itself in a guise where I would say: a maximum of 50% of it has an 80s touch (the higher vocal passages perhaps, a few of the guitar riffs) – but the other 50% is the sound that you have come to know and love from the band in recent years. For me, “Love Somebody” also doesn’t completely fit into the track that the band mainly wants to go down with this album. There’s a lot going on here, especially vocally, and Adam Grahn has to squeeze out the last bit of air in his lungs to sing some of the passages – it will be interesting to see how it sounds live! And those who like guitar solos will also be happy with this song – harmoniously packed into the overall package of the song, the passage is definitely an enrichment.

Conclusion? An album that you might not have expected, but if you let it play a few times, it will burn itself into your head and heart.

  • 9/10
    Bewertung / rating - 9/10

Carina Ullmann - reports, reviews, photos - - - Favorite genres? - - - From classical music to metal - it all depends on the band and my mood ;) - - - Favorite bands? - - - would be a too long list to write them all down... - - - Other interests? - - - Photography, travelling, culture, reading, writing