Monday, March 26, 2012

Rhema Soul: RED Review

In the six short years that the Christian hip-hop group Rhema Soul has been together, they’ve enjoyed their fair share of success. From their debut, their single “All You Are” featured Hillsong United and climbed charts quickly. The threesome has since released three albums and is now releasing their fourth studio project, RED. As Rhema Soul shares, the color red usually declares urgency, and RED is a wakeup call to the listeners.

The title track opens the album on a stern note, and features hip-hop artist This’l. Especially enjoyable about the opening track are Butta’s fast-paced lyrics, and the Group1Crew sentiment that appears in both this track and Rhema Soul’s music as a whole. The single “No Walking Away” follows nicely, electronic effects in the beginning, mixed with the volume increase and the slight techno beat combining to form an excellent track of perseverance – definitely one of the best tracks off RED, too.
Urgency resounds through “Danger” as well, speaking of how nobody wants to talk about the dangerous topics that need to be addressed so badly. More melodic, “War” features Benjah, declaring that there’s a war going on for people’s souls, while “Need An Answer” speaks of all the problems in life that we need answers for – drugs, alcohol, and all the other problems that people resort to in desperation. They aren’t afraid to address these topics, but they do so in a listener-friendly fashion.

Following, “Off the Edge” is more of a serene track, while “So Beautiful” features Jai, as Butta declares to women that God’s love defines us, not outer beauty (just as Blanca did with “So Beautiful” on the Outta Space Love CD) Most of the track, however, can even be directed toward any person who has insecurity issues. I did enjoy the sereneness of this catchy hip-hip track with an extremely good message.

Featuring the amazing vocals of Christian music’s newcomer Ryan Stevenson, “On My Way” speaks of shaking negativity off your shoulders and moving, no matter how people treat us – a fantastic message to hear in a hip-hop track, which is more on the melodic side. “Celebration” is a happy partying track, “Everyone jump around!” being the fronting line.

“Break Out,” with cool effects throughout the bridge, addresses determining to follow your dreams while the more worshipful sounding “Not Forgotten” encourages those who feel left out and worthless, reminding them to “Hold on to the promise/ I know it’s hard to see you are not forgotten…” Calling the listeners to fight for this moment, “Moment In Time” follows, and the album closes with “Stop the World,” featuring Shonlock. It’s very melodic with background strings and builds nicely throughout.

Rhema Soul’s RED album addresses some much-needed topics through their worship/hip-hop mix. RED is a wakeup call for Christians to take the time to love those around us, start a revolution, and win souls for Jesus Christ. There are some catchy tunes and wonderful guest appearances, too!

Rating: 3.5/5
Release date: March 27, 2012

Track listing:
1. Red (featuring This’l)
2. No Walking Away
3. Danger
4. War (featuring Benjah)
5. Need An Answer
6. Off the Edge
7. So Beautiful (featuring Jai)
8. On My Way (featuring Ryan Stevenson)
9. Celebration
10. Break Out
11. Not Forgotten
12. Moment In Time
13. Stop the World (featuring Shonlock)

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