Red Moon In Venus: Album Review

Kali Uchis plays with sub-genres and spiritual bliss on her third album: Red Moon In Venus


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Kali Uchis in Red Moon In Venus album photoshoot

Owen Baxter, Writer

    Aesthetically, one could guess Kali Uchis would bring floaty, warm vibrance to her next work. And they’d be mostly right, but somehow, her soul, both metaphorically and musically, has elevated to a new, genre bending height. To start, the lead single, “I Wish you Roses”, which came a mere 2 months before the rest of Red Moon In Venus, transports you into a realm of soothing background drums and a blend of Uchis’ rich, blues-esque vocals, only comparable to sitting on a loveseat while an old-timey phonogram plays 80s jazz.

    Next, just a week before the full length release, came “Moonlight”, an equally charming, but slightly more enjoyable listen, packed with the retro funk and seamless transitions of Spanglish zeal. “Get higher and higher with you/Let’s go to the moon/and leave behind all that,” she offers.

    Red Moon In Venus, in an admittedly forthright fashion, tackles ideas of morality, karma, and consequence. This is especially highlighted in the appropriately dubbed “Moral Conscience”: “I hope you know when karma comes ‘round/Knocking down your door/She’s coming to collect ‘cause karma won’t forget,”

    However, the themes don’t reach their highest potential. Many of the songs don’t even reach the 3-minute mark, making it difficult to really get into their individual points before it’s already over. Additionally, while Uchis’ independence consistently shines across the board, the collaborative tracks don’t match up. “Fantasy”, a hip-hop/soul track, fails to blend the soft peaks of Uchis’ voice and the brash, auto-tuned mumbles from Don Toliver. Conversely, her vocals mix too well with Omar Apollo’s on the sensual “Worth The Wait”, and it’d be easy to forget he’s even on the track. At the near end of the album, comes a collab with R&B powerhouse Summer Walker in “Deserve Me”, in which a perfect medium between the other two features is found: cohesion and elated potency.

    If anything defines Kali Uchis’ newest album, it’s spirituality. In listening, it should be expected that you’d feel an ethereality echoing through your ears, a heavenly accord offering all that the singer feels, and most importantly, a sense that Uchis’ is really only getting started, even six years into her career.

Grade: B

Photo Credits: UDiscover

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