Album Review: Rebelution - In The Moment
by Gardy Stein
When was the last time you really, truly lived in the here and now? Relishing the present moment, without hectically thinking about what you still have to do later on, about tomorrow's chores or yesterday's nuisances? As Abraham Maslow once said, "the ability to be in the present moment is a major component of mental wellness", so let's all take a break - and a deep breath. Our health coaches Rebelution, who have just released their 7th studio album In The Moment, will take good care of us for the next hour.
Crafted during the long months of lockdown, touring guitarist Kyle Ahern was literally instrumental in the new oeuvre's production. Since the band could not, as they usually would, jam and record together in the studio, Kyle collected their ideas and arrangements, fleshing out most of the songs and filling the sketches with layers recorded by the individual band members Eric Rachmany, Wesley Finley, Marley D. Williams and Rory Carey. The final product includes 14 novel tracks (plus one acoustic version), and although In The Moment is not really a concept album, time is a central focus of the release, as the cover illustrates. Let's press play!
Perfect entry, Satisfied immerses us in the band's signature Alternative-Rock-Reggae sound and urges us to focus on ourselves, asking "Are you sure, are you good, are you satisfied?". Discussing choices such as quality or quantity, mind over matter or fairness & equality, the track invites both serious reflections on what is really important in life and casual sing-alongs with the catchy hook. Laalalalaalaalaaa...
The same difficult balance between contemplation and blithe sonic pleasure is achieved by Adapt, Survive, a discussion of legalization politics that puts the liability for change on us, and Future Depends. The latter is a relaxed construct built on an airy flute melody and the conviction that our future depends on how carefully we tend to the seeds planted, the children born today. "And we thank what provides when the moment arrives where we all come alive in due time. Plant a seed for the future depends!"
Diving further into the wealth of the skanking sweetness Reggae music has to offer, both Initials and You And I will fill your heart with love. Eric's voice is at its most beautiful here, full of warmth and emotion, a stark contrast to the overload of auto-tune in Old School Feeling. The track itself is a nostalgic feel-good tune that plays with deep bass-lines, high piano-notes, dubby echoes and reverb, the ultimate soundtrack for a summer party.
Speaking of... we haven't looked at the guests yet. While Durand Jones, a US Soul-band heard on That Zone, was unknown to me, all other artists are old acquaintances. Keznamdi features in Places Unknown, joining Eric in a reflection about how fast life passes and that you have to take chances to make things happen.
A big surprise is Busy Signal, who appears in All Or Nothing - both vocally and in the video which just dropped and pretty much truthfully mirrors the creation process of that song. "Nothing try, nothing done, suh make sure put the wuk in!"
Last but by no means least is Kabaka Pyramid on 2020 Vision. Next to his accurate lyrical delivery and a melodic spin taken by Eric on the "rise above the haters"-theme, the song is made special by its high-energy riddim. Produced by Calvin Valentine, it re-creates the vigor of Let's Face It by Pablo Moses, who can even be heard in the background if you pay close attention. Nice one!
Off the beaten Reggae path we have the powerful Heavy As Lead (produced by Chris "Flict" Aparri), What Life Is from the band's decade-old ice box, and To Be Younger, a realization of how fast time is passing. The bittersweet melancholy of the subject is intensified in the acoustic version that closes the album. "No regrets, leave nothing behind!"
With In The Moment, Rebelution have created a next-level expression of who they are, what preoccupies them and where they are headed. It's definitely a relief for the fans that a tour is planned for the late summer to hear these new tracks live - enough time to learn the lyrics by heart and practice living In The Moment!
Rebelution - In The Moment
DIGITAL RELEASE / CD / VINYL [87 Music]
Release date: 06/18/2021
02. Old School Feeling
03. Heavy As Lead
04. To Be Younger
06. 2020 Vision
07. All Or Nothing
08. You And I
09. Adapt, Survive
10. Future Depends
11. That Zone feat. Durand Jones
12. Simply Captivating
13. Places Unknown feat. Keznamdi
14. What Is Life
15. To Be Younger (Acoustic)