Ladies and gentlemen, prepare to have your mind blown by the psychedelic sounds of GRiZ. The Detroit native combines hip hop, techno, reggae, blues and jazz to create “Rebel Era”, a blend of melodies that are guaranteed to draw a curious crowd. It is clear that GRiZ is willing to travel in different directions with “Rebel Era” in order to give the fans what they want: an amazing and harmonious party. We are not just here to listen to an album; we are here to get down and party with GRiZ.
The party begins with “Gettin’ Live”, giving the audience a taste of what’s to come. GRiZ sends us into a lively frenzy with the guitar solo and slow drum beats. This is the type of music you might hear on the soundtrack of an action film. This track is truly action-packed. If popular actions films were to include “Gettin’ Live on their soundtracks, I would watch their films for this track alone. It is absolutely amazing.
The mellow tempos of “Hard Times” appeal to the smooth jazz and reggae fans, giving them the opportunity to party along with their hip hop brethren. This is the kind of tune where you sit back and have a drink with friends after a long day. Contrary to the title, the bluesy guitar and the velvet sounds of the horns give off a smooth jazz feel. This beautifully crafted harmony brings a sense of relaxation and peace and could easily lull the listener into a deep and soothing slumber.
In keeping with the jazzy theme, “How it Ends” (ft.Dominic Lalli) proves to be art in its musical form. GRiZ continues to dazzle and amaze his listeners with the soft guitar and smooth, slow saxophone. These stunning instruments set the tune for a romantic evening on the town. This is a melody that’s meant to groove to. As a fan of smooth jazz, I can appreciate the beauty of this song.
Set to a rock-reggae beat, “Feel the Love” invites fans to the floor to dance to the sweet, enticing sounds of the vocals of GRiZ and the silky smooth voice of his female accompanist. This beautiful, melodious hit will surely send the listeners into a dream from which they will not want to wake.
“DTW to DIA (the travels of Mr. B)” has a more upbeat tempo and will surprise the listeners with its hip hop and jazz combination. The guitar riffs and vocals are reminiscent of the disco era, particularly with the occasional references to White Cherry’s “Play That Funky Music”. Combining the style of the 70’s with smooth jazz and reggae, GRiZ introduces his audience to a new kind of disco. His fans will want to don bell bottoms and platform shoes if they want to party to this classic.
“Simple” (ft. The Floozies) is a hypnotic beat that will not only grab the audience’s attention, but leave them in a funky trance. GRiZ has taken control of his audience with the synthesizers and his Talk box. For those who are fans of Peter Frampton, best known for using this technique during his recordings, “Simple” will be your favorite track off of this album.
“Dance with Me” is a combination of smooth jazz, rock and techno mixed together to create one genre all its own. The guitar riffs and Talk box vocals take on a futuristic sound, enticing GRiZ’s listeners. The music is so electrifying, even the wallflowers will find their place on the dance floor. The colorful amalgam of electronic vocals and guitars promise the listener a remarkable evening.
“Do My Thang” has the potential to be a number one dance hit. Although the song has limited vocals, it has a fun, catchy beat that GRiZ’s fans will enjoy. The only downside is that we are only given two minutes and ten seconds to enjoy this hit. Unfortunately, it feels as though we are only given a sample of his work. “Do My Thang” ends almost as quickly as it began. If GRiZ were to release this as a single, it would be best if he were to increase the time so that the fans have the opportunity to truly enjoy his work.
“Crime in the City” is a memorable techno beat that would be best suited for an underground rave. Throughout this song, we feel nothing but pure energy flowing through the speakers. This stimulating beat will send shockwaves throughout your body, inducing a feeling of intensity that you have no choice but to release onto the dance floor. This epic track proves to be fun and exhilarating, not only for his fans, but for those who are new to the techno genre and to GRiZ. Get ready for the ride of your life, because “Crime in the City” is a non-stop musical roller coaster.
In comparison to many of the tracks on this album, “Keep the Dream Alive” has an extremely quiet beat. The beginning of the track is far too quiet and the listeners must adjust their volume in order to hear it. However, the soft, beautiful pipes in the intro and the somber, echoing vocals more than make up for the silence. As with most of his songs, GRiZ ventures off into an entirely different direction, going from a smooth reggae beat to a techno-computerized tempo. While the song is unique and colorful, “Keep the Dream Alive” may be hard to hold the attention of most of his listeners.
The first time you hear the intro for “Too Young for Tragedy pt. II”, you might think you are in for a gloomy song worthy of its title. GRiZ proves us wrong by introducing an energetic cadence of guitar solos and animated synthesizers. The title, “Too Young for Tragedy pt. II”, would be more appropriate for a song that remained slow and solemn as it was in the beginning. There’s hardly anything tragic about a song this full of energy.
“Rebel Era” is more instrumental than lyrical, but the upbeat rhythms more than make up for that. While GRiZ has something for everyone in each of his tracks, it isn’t for everybody. In my honest opinion, GRiZ has the potential to become an outstanding musician and release many best-selling albums in the future.
Final Grade: B