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Almost a concept album, JKR’s debut release, Star Crossed, tracks love from beginning to end with all the light and dark in between. Standout track, “Disaster”, takes listeners through the longing, the love, and the loss of star-crossed lovers.

Clever lyrics laced with angst and rock-rap atmosphere evoke Linkin Park, but with more nuanced emotional themes. “You’re still a disaster,” they cry, “but you’re not the only one,” they readily admit. “The heart just wants what the heart can’t get.”

It’s an elevation of aesthetic. By introducing modern musical trends to the salient elements of rap-rock, like rapid-fire lyrics packed with poetic rhymes and a prominent drum kit, multi-instrumentalist Craig Christiansen has created his own unique style. The heaviest moments lift and the lightest stay tethered by the motivated timbral shifts.

Long vocal lines that sit on the second scale degree, unbalanced and desperate to resolve, bring the dark energy of the ’90s and ’00s. Countering the dark, faux sotto voce echoes and muted guitar rhythms lighten the piece. It’s a push and pull equal to the heart-wrenching tale of love in “Disaster”.

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Stream the album below.

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