Friday, March 30, 2012

Album Review: "RED" by Rhema Soul

Release Date: March 27, 2012
Genre: Hip Hop/Pop/Soul
Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

After three full albums, Rhema Soul has already made a name of themselves before releasing this latest album RED. The South Florida trio is made up of K-Nuff, JuanLove, and Butta-P; three talented singers who are not afraid to dive into deep topics in their songs. By combining hip hop with pop and soul, the music Rhema Soul delivers has a unique feel compared to that of many other hip hop artists.

Rhema Soul starts RED off with a bang through the title track that features guest rapper Thi’sl. “RED” has a very convicting message, urging people to make a move (and make a difference); not
being content with “blood” and “pain” just being “televised.” The first radio single “No Walking Away” has a catchy beat and encourages those going through hard times to stay strong. At the same time, the song looks ahead to the day when we will be in heaven: “There's hurt, pain, and strain in this life / Yeah, but this is life here / One day I'll leave on a comet in a light year.” “Danger” begins with the sound of a danger siren before flowing into a track full of “pumped-up” music.

The group gets very serious in “War,” a song that features Benjah, and they sing about trusting in the Lord and to stop fighting “wars” in life, but instead help bring peace. Techno and dubstep effects lead the way in “Need an Answer” as the singers of Rhema Soul talk about seeking God for deliverance from the trials of life. They then express desire to let others know of this deliverance, I know God saves, gotta let them know / He’s the only way I’m gonna make it through.” “Off The Edge” has a stronger pop flavor than the previous songs in the album. The topic of heaven is brought up again in this track, as the group optimistically sings in the chorus, “I get to heaven when I learn to fly / I’m gonna make it on these broken wings.” That line really reminded me of how, although we all sin, we can still go to heaven thanks to Jesus Christ.

“So Beautiful,” featuring Jai, reaches out to the female fans and reminds them that they are all beautiful, for we are all made in God’s image. Butta-P, the group’s female vocalist, then warns women to not throw their love away. In “On My Way,” featuring Ryan Stevenson, Rhema Soul again talks about weathering the storms of life while making sure our lives reflect the change Christ has done in them. Excitement is stirred in “Celebration” which looks ahead to when all pain and sorrow is gone and we spend eternity with the Lord. “Joy and the pains, the sorrow and the praying / Was all a part of the process to get us ready for this game.”

We are reminded in “Break Out” that God has a purpose in our lives, and the members Rhema Soul encourage us to seek it now instead of waiting until later. For those who feel hopeless due to what you are going through in life, “Not Forgotten” is one of the most encouraging songs you could listen to! The hip hop group reminds us all that we are never forgotten, for God cares for us. Upbeat music drives “Moment In Time” along as the singers encourage us to fight for the moment we are in and to take advantage of it. Finally, the closer “Stop the World” is easily a standout, featuring acclaimed hip hop artist Shonlock. With strings and dance music combined with a pleasant rhythm, and the theme of the great power of God’s love, the track acts as an excellent finish to the record.

RED proves to be an album full of songs that many listeners will find easy to relate to. The topic of looking forward to when we will spend eternity in heaven is repeatedly spoken of during the record, and encouragement is generously poured out to those who need it. Not only is RED an excellent album lyrically, but its unique style of music will keep even the new fans and listeners interested all the way through the album. If you enjoy hip hop, dance, or just want to hear some encouraging songs, RED is the album for you!

Top 3 Songs:
  1. No Walking Away
  2. Not Forgotten
  3. So Beautiful (ft. Jai)
  1. RED (ft. Thi'sl)
  2. No Walking Away
  3. Danger
  4. War (ft. Benjah)
  5. Need An Answer
  6. Off the Edge
  7. So Beautiful (ft. Jai)
  8. On My Way (ft. Ryan Stevenson)
  9. Celebration
  10. Break Out
  11. Not Forgotten
  12. Moment In Time
  13. Stop the World (ft. Shonlock)

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