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Album Review: Vernon Grant Chronicles by Redeye Empire

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With their fifth and final album, Redeye Empire is calling it quits after the album, Vernon Grant Chronicles. While it has been nearly nine years since their previous album, they have still garnered some attention between those nine long years. While I don't know any of the members personally, this album and the announcement that they're calling it quits hit hard for me. I remember back in high school when I first dipped my toes into the reggae scene. They were a unique band and were different from the rest, but their sound was amazing. I later found out that they weren't a huge name and had a small fan base. I did my best to spread the name of them, but unfortunately they never caught on. Other than that, let's get on to the album review!

The first track off the album is Is What It Is. It starts out slow with the singer and some guitar chords. Finally after a few seconds, the sweet reggae beats come in. The guitar solo in the middle of the track just adds so much more flare and meaning to this track. The horn section also kills it and makes it nearly impossible to be at ease when this track is playing.

After that, we have The Benefits. This is definitely more laid back and quieter compared to the previous track. It also gives me more of a true and original reggae feeling. This song isn't near perfect, especially since it's short and I'm left with wanting some more. I also feel like the lower vocals mixed in with the lead singer's vocal around the minute and a half mark don't fit together.

Next, we have Loving You. This definitely has more of a modern pop and rock song vibe. There isn't much of a reggae influence on this track, other than the off-beat guitar chords. This definitely wasn't one I was digging that much when I first listened to this album, but it is actually growing on me. Who knows, might be one of my favorites off the album after a few more listens. On this track, the lead singer is saying that he isn't a fool for loving this person.

Hey Yo brings us back to the original reggae-style track. This is also their longest track off the short album or EP depending on what you would classify this as. There is also a tint of some electronic and light synth notes that are sprinkled throughout the track.

The fifth track, Treason, starts off with a light guitar and chorus of "Oh's." This is oddly reminiscent of an indie folk/rock track. I'm actually digging this kind of sound from them, even if it's not what Redeye Empire is known for. Since this is their parting record, I don't mind the experimentation and would have loved to see more of this kind of sound.

Falling starts off as an acoustic reggae track with a light and playful sound. Eventually, the typical reggae drums come in, but the track is still light and playful in nature. Basically, the lead singer of the track talks about how he is falling in love with this person.

The last track off the album or EP is Sayulita. They end the record with their regular and signature sound that they are known for. They have some heavy guitars and instrumentals, while still having a hint of reggae/ska in there. Also, the layered vocals during the chorus of the track just add to their original sound.

It is sad to see this band come to an end. While it is a short album to leave us with, there are some solid and enjoyable tracks off of here. It will be interesting to see where they end up and their future endeavors. Thanks Redeye Empire for some great tunes over the years!
Overall Rating: 8/10
Favorite Tracks: Is What It Is, The Benefits, Loving You, Treason

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