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Album Review: In the Moment by Rebelution

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Rebelution is a reggae rock band from California. While it isn't your traditional Jamaican reggae, they still draw from some of it's original roots and feature Jamaican artists on their music. Their debut album, Courage to Grow, brought them a lot of success and they've only been on an upward projection since then with several number one charting albums on the reggae charts. In the Moment marks the group's seventh studio album.

The first track from the album is Satisfied. This was one of the first singles for this album and I was pretty stoked for the album when I heard this. Even with the interesting fifteen second introduction, we get the classic Rebelution sound once again. They also focus on the steel drums a bit more, especially during the quick break on the halfway point of the track. Other than that, it's easily one of my favorites from their new project.
 
Old School Feeling definitely gives me some 'old school' reggae vibes, or even Rebelution in the early days of Courage to Grow. You got the classic off-beat with some other brass instruments thrown in the background. We also got some dub-influences thrown in there, which I would have figured with their latest dub album. As for the lyrics, they basically talk about some old reggae tracks and try to mimic that sound on this track.
 
Heavy as Lead marks the shortest track on the album, just under three minutes in length. This track also took me by surprise with the opening. It opens up with a sound loop repeated and then eventually fading out. We also have a more classic drumkit thrown in here. There's a lot of electronic influences on here which is unlike them. I'm glad they're experimenting with their sound, but I hope that they don't stick with this for the entire project.

To Be Younger takes us back with more of an acoustic track. The guitars seem to tone and strip it back during the verses however. However, Rebelution is able to make this more of an upbeat track rather than a sad and toned down one. While Eric does talk about not having a lot of time left and getting older, he stills talks about living a fulfilling life and not having any regrets. There is still a sense of wanting to be younger though.

Initials seems to be a fan favorite from what I'm picking up on social media. This track seems to move away from the previous acoustic track and bring back the laid back reggae tune. While it is reggae influenced, it just seems like a sound that I haven't really heard from them yet. By getting into the lyrics of this track, I can tell that this is a love track since he talks about carving their initials in a rock, which seems kind of old school in today's age.

We have our first feature on 2020 Vision from Kabaka Pyramid. I haven't heard of Kabaka Pyramid before this track, but he seems to be a great addition on here. As for the track, again, I'm hearing some more electronic influences on here. It sounds like there's some sort of synth they're testing out towards the end of each bar. There's also a lot of reverb thrown in on different parts of the track, like during the response of the vocals and synths.

All or Nothing is our second track that has a vocal feature, Busy Signal. The track opens up with a quick guitar lick, and then you have the piano off-beats come in after. It seems to be a back and forth between the two instruments for the majority of the introduction. As for the vocals, Busy Signal is more on the traditional side of reggae, which makes him a great addition for this type of track. Other than that, this track talks about being all in on something and putting in the work.

You and I is another stripped back track with just a sweet and soft guitar (possibly ukulele) part at the beginning. Of course it starts to open up a bit more as the track progresses and the introduction passes. I'm a bit disappointed that the guitar part from the beginning eventually gets overpowered by other instruments, but overall, it's a nice and easygoing track. It's also another love track, if you couldn't tell from the title.

I'm really enjoying the sound from Adapt, Survive. This takes me back to the days when I first started listening to Rebelution, especially their Courage to Grow album. They really take advantage of the brass section on this track. We also have a nice bass groove going during the verses. There's also a political message coming through the track, especially on the second verse. He talks about legalizing the 'green' and taxing it.

Future Depends seems to take back that laid back feeling, as well as opening the door up for more reverbed parts. I'm not really sure how I feel about this track too much, especially with the high pitched flute/whistle sound. This is probably one of the first tracks on the album I could care less for, just not seeing anything that's sticking out on here. As for the lyrics, he's talking about taking care of nature, as well as planting a seed for the future.

We surprisingly have another feature on this project, on That Zone. It opens up with a more electronic guitar, as well as Eric's inaudible vocals. While simple, I'm really loving the drumkits that come with the off-beats. It's a very simple track instrumentally, but it just makes you feel that much closer with the track. I can also tell that this is another love track on this album, just judging by them saying they're in 'that zone' with their true love.

Simply Captivating opens up with some interesting guitar parts. It almost makes me feel like I'm about to hear some prog rock track, but eventually Eric's vocals start to come in. The track starts to build up with other stuff, like synths, drums, and the piano on the off-beats. What I'm grabbing from the lyrics, it seems like he's interested by how beautiful life is, as well as the many references to the night. I could definitely hear myself listening to this driving late at night.

We have our last vocal guest on Places Unknown, Keznamdi. While this does sound like a solid and your usual reggae track, this is another track that really isn't standing out for me. While we did have a quick break from the usual reggae flow on the past track, I guess we've had similar sounding tracks at this time in the album. However, as I've said before, it is good to hear the more classical reggae artists on this album.

The final track we have on the album is What Life Is. While Rebelution isn't known for having amazing closers, I was still looking forward to hearing what they had planned to end this album, and I was actually pleasantly surprised by what they ended up with. I've always been a fan of the brass section from Rebelution, and this track capitalizes on that aspect. They also seem to capitalize on a variety of instrumentation on this track.

I actually thoroughly enjoyed this album and there isn't too much I would change from it. While a few tracks can get stale towards the end, it's been awhile since I've heard a solid album from Rebelution. I'm excited to see if this charts at #1 on the reggae charts.
Overall Rating: 8/10
Favorite Tracks: Satisfied, To Be Younger, Initials, You and I, Adapt, Survive
 
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