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Album

Bright Side Of Life

Description

Santa Barbara quartet Rebelution are the newest face of reggae. Sporting a sound straight from the beaches of Southern California (and, of course, Jamaica), the band tore into the mainstream in 2007 with their debut, Courage To Grow. The album garnered huge success, and is still one of the top-10 reggae albums on iTunes. Now the reggae-rockers are back with Bright Side Of Life. They don’t stray too much from what worked on the first album, busting out minimalist, uplifting reggae tunes from start to finish.

The album kicks off with the title track, ‘Bright Side of Life’. It sets the tone for the rest of the album with off-beat rhythm guitars and encouraging lyrics like “look on the bright side of life.” ‘More Than Ever’ has a more active lead guitar, branching into a semi-rock riff at times. ‘Outta Control’ features some funky keyboard action alongside driving guitar harmony. The song displays the band’s hip-hop influences as lead singer Eric Rachmany raps through the verses. ‘From The Window’ is the most rock-influenced track on the album, with a distorted guitar riff backing the chorus.

As the album goes on, each song brings its own personality, but they are all essentially tied together. All of the songs have the same rhythm guitar sound and drums with only small variations in the lead guitar and keyboards. Usually this would be a major downfall in an album, but reggae is a genre that thrives on redundancy. It’s not meant to be original and thought-provoking. Reggae is relaxed and informal. It makes you feel good with hypnotic, predictable rhythms and an uplifting lyrical message.

Rebelution do this perfectly; they don’t try to disguise the simplicity of reggae or complicate their music. If you’re having a tough day, Rebelution will mellow you out. If you’re having a barbecue, it’ll provide the perfect atmosphere. Ditto with a day at the beach. It’s not music for concentrating on anything specific. Rather, it broadens and blurs your focus until your worries melt into the off-beats. Rebelution have crafted an album so simple that it’s hypnotic. Just don’t listen to it when you’re trying to study.

-Spencer
http://awmusic.ca

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