Kyle Thornton & The Company’s WNDR is full of an explosive dose of wonder, as the title suggests.

Kyle Thornton & the Company’s third full-length release is carried on electric energy from start to finish. Thornton’s unwavering tenor is propelled forward by bluesy keys and measured percussion.

The album opens with an instrumental, “Le Presento A (Byrd Theater).” Cut with the sound of film rolling and a beeping countdown, it’s the overture to Kyle Thornton & The Company’s latest release. The track opens with the sound of room noise—indecipherable voices and laughter— before any melodic elements are introduced. This sets the tone for the rest of the album: casual, conversational, and confessional.

“Baby, this will finally be the summer that we fall in love,” Thornton sing-speaks at a steady, slightly faster than conversational pace on “Fall In Love,” the second track on WNDR. This style unites the more melodic aspects of R&B with some of the more rhythmic ones of hip-hop in the song: the instrumental elements are subdued, paving a path for Thornton’s voice to reign and drive the course and mood of the track.

The instrumentation pulls back, favoring vocals instead, all while building to a swell of sound before bursting open into the chorus. The chunky bass line plods along with the keys pounding out major chords while a cymbal crashes along in the background. “I hope we fall in love, yeah, we goin’ fall in love,” Thornton sings, so fast it feels just like his heart racing in the throes of infatuation.

The use of trumpet and strings on WNDR gives it the theatrical quality the prelude to the album promised; particularly, the hollow, spare strings that punctuate the interlude “Those Nights.”

After the former half of the album has expended itself on vibrant energy, “Those Nights” is a welcome respite. The strings follow the track “Snow,” which consists of a sound bite of a phone call as well as various clips from songs playing on a radio as the unnamed narrator flips through them. “Those Nights,” in turn, begins with a tone of uncertainty: the same melody is bowed repetitively for several measures before the strings swell, then decrescendo.

This moment of calm in the album borrows from the mood Thornton established in previous songs and even segues seamlessly into the succeeding track, “These Nights.” The song is moody and mellow, with Thornton’s voice staccato yet smooth over lazily strummed guitar. The pace of the song captures the feeling of, indeed, “these nights” where you find yourself wondering about a love that wasn’t. His playful rhymes add a touch of humor to the introspective pain: “Now your lipstick stains are just growing pains.”

WNDR is decidedly more polished than Space To Move: Part I (2015)the album has a coherent flow and narrative, repeating melodies throughout and relying on the theme of heartbreak to drive it; Space To Move was more of a collection of Thornton’s songs, albeit an impressive one.

If the name is indicative of anything, WNDR is truly wonderful, from its theatrical opening to the sweeping, impressive electric guitar solo that gives it a rock edge at its close.

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