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Arguably the most soulful hard rock act on the scene today, the veteran trio King's X return with a revitalized sound on XV, their 15th studio album. This powerful release is propelled by their trademark blues-rock swagger, brazen grooves and expert songwriting chops working overtime on tracks like the mellow yet intense "I Don't Know", the readyt for rock radio drive of "Alright", the syrupy guitars leading "Blue", and the airy "I Just Want to Live". Add in the incredible vocal wail of Dug Pinnick on cuts like the metallic mosey "Free" and the hymn-like rocker "Go Tell Somebody" and King's X unfurl their big hooks, memorable vocal harmonies, and sophisticated compositions in a terse package, demonstrating that this world-class rock band's tried and true formula is not only intact, but remains as in your face with full force as any of their early work. Rousing and uplifting, King's X reaffirms your faith in rock 'n roll with this superbly focused return to form.
- Mike SOS