Monday, January 9, 2012

Rebelution: Peace of Mind Review

After almost two and a half years without releasing any new music, Rebelution went all in for their third studio album, Peace of Mind, which includes full-length single, acoustic, and dub albums.  Showing lots of maturity and growth, the Santa Barbara natives gave a fitting description of this masterpiece, stating that “the triple-album is definitely a progression musically and genre wise from our past albums, while still grounded in reggae.”   
Peace of Mind kicks off with the band’s first single “Sky is the Limit,” featuring an energetic horn section and a classic Rebelution vibe.  This style of rock/reggae, established in their sophomore album Bright Side of Life, is also apparent in “Comfort Zone” and “Day by Day.”  In addition, the band remains in touch with their roots as the song “Calling Me Out,” with a catchy saxophone riff and groovin’ reggae beat, sounds like it’s from the Courage to Grow era.  But most importantly, these California boys grew and recorded songs that feel like a brand new Rebelution.  “Route Around” and “Closer I Get” are two passionate love songs that experiment with a new, toned-down genre and really stand out from anything else the band has recorded.  These songs are contrasted by “Lady in White,” which is full of distorted rock guitars and crashing symbols that show an unfamiliar but exciting side of the band.    
Rebelution also included four guest artists to add something new to their songs.  Lutan Fyah’s traditional reggae style makes the vibe in “Good Vibes” even better and Jacob Hemphill of SOJA compliments lead singer Eric Rachmany’s voice beautifully in “Meant to Be”.  Unlikely subject for a reggae band, harmonica player John Popper has a remarkable solo that fits the mood of “Closer I Get” perfectly and rapper Zumbi of Zion I adds a hip-hop element to “So High.”   
Finally, the acoustic and dub albums offer different versions of their 12 outstanding songs.  With new arrangements in the acoustic album and lots of unique effects in the dub album, the band created three versions of these songs that all differ enough to make each one entertaining and something new.
Rebelution’s third studio album proves why the band is on top of reggae and even multi-genre charts.  Peace of Mind not only has the classic California reggae vibe that Rebelution has mastered over the years, but also shows maturity and reveals a new, exceptional sound that can be appreciated by more than just reggae fans. 

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