The Review: Redlight’s new album, Active, will be released on November 2nd. In all truth, this superb collection of tracks couldn’t have a better title – the musician is here, ready and waiting with a vision that is supplied via a consistent collection of tunes. Eager lyrics and booming sounds deliver an album versatile enough for either the club or your headphones. So, shall we take a look at what’s on offer here?
The album opens with Get Wavey, effectively setting the tone for what’s to come. Pounding bass fills the track, which remains remarkably sparse as to not overwhelm the listener. It’s just as well; the beats here act more as blinding lights. When combined with the ‘T-R-A-N-C-E’ mantra, you’ll find that Redlight has effectively produced a rather addictive, nostalgic headbanger.
While the follow-up So Nice serves as a stark, sassy departure from the grooves of the opener, the third track remains a highlight. Seasons, featuring vocals from Karen Harding, is my choice pick from Active. With emotionally charged vocals from our vocalist combined with pensive lyrics (“Everything is changing like the seasons/But I’m still here with you”), Redlight produces an extremely enviable piece that coos along in desperation for a lover’s realisation. Honestly, if this is released as a single I see big things.
Keeping Seasons on repeat meant the inevitable decline to come. The fourth track, Zum Zum failed to do anything for me, near enough reminding me of the incessant drone that accompanied The Carters’ Drunk in Love back in 2013. Yet, upon reaching the halfway mark with Freaky, I found myself confronted with the purest house music I’d heard so far. Guess what? It was good. The lyrics are scant, summarily beginning and ending with the phrase “She a Freak” but Redlight builds another strong mantra with these lyrics. Attention saved, thank you.
The latter half of the record proves nearly as strong as the first. Another highlight is Everyday, featuring vocals from Lisa Menendez whose performance here is nothing short of incandescent. Seriously – what an ego! Reminiscent of Nelly’s Get Like Me, the gritty production injects a heavy dose of conviction into the track. While Menendez’s profanity is wicked, positive filth, the bragging rights are hers alone. We can but wish we had the guts to make narcissism so appealing.
Redlight’s experimental ideas pervade until the final track, as we find an excellent album closer in Ride That Thing. Salacious it may be, but the bangs and booms here do a pretty good job in reminding us what we came for. We’re here to dance. To dance smothered with deep, pounding beats and an almost head-shattering, hedonistic stomp. Waiting is the hardest part, but Redlight deploys an exceptional track that makes it oh-so worth it.
Final Verdict: Redlight has a strong hand to deal here. Sizzling the feet while rallying our inner dancers, the album serves as a stirring point for the more eclectic sounds rattling around his head. It’s not perfect, but it’s consistent. We’re here to dance. We’re here to lose ourselves. And with this, we’ll do it.