Review: Kali Uchis’ ‘Red Moon in Venus’ – Spin or skip?


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José C. Delgado, Reporter

Colombian American R&B singer Kali Uchis has released her third studio album, “Red Moon in Venus.”

Spanning 15 tracks and clocking in at just over 43 minutes, the album features songs that explore different types of love. Uchi taps into dreamy instrumentals and breathy vocal deliveries to create an atmospheric record.

Uchis delivers an album that follows a cohesive theme, both lyrically and sonically. This cohesion makes it an easy listening experience, yet keeps the listener engaged throughout the record.

The lead single, “I Wish you Roses,” blends R&B with a dream-pop-inspired instrumental, immediately giving the listener a taste of what is to follow. Lyrically, Uchis says goodbye to a lover but wishes the best for them. The song does its job as the lead single and first full song on the album.

The silky sound of “Love Between…” offers a slower pace for the record. While the guitar and drums create an ethereal soundscape, Uchis interpolates “Love…Can Be So Wonderful” by The Temprees in the song’s chorus. She sings in the chorus, “Love between two human beings/ Can be so wonderful, wonderful (in love).” Uchis, who is openly bisexual, removes the gender specifications of the original, using a more progressive take on the song.

Tracks seven and eight see Uchis integrating Spanish into the record. Her last record, “Sin Miedo (del Amor y Otros Demonios),” was fully in Spanish. “Hasta Cuando” starts off well with punchy drums and plunky synthesizers and Uchis’ delivery of the verses sees her “spinging,” a portmanteau of spitting and singing. This style of delivery brings an interesting dynamic to the track.

The following track, “Endlessly,” sees Uchis exploring 1980s-inspired pop music. This is one of the better songs on the record, where everything from the instrumental to her voice and lyrics comes together and complements each other nicely.

Uchis features a few collaborations on the record. She teams up with Omar Apollo on “Worth the Wait,” current partner and rapper Don Toliver on “Fantasy” and Summer Walker on “Deserve Me.” Apollo’s feature brings the most dynamism of the three. While Uchis’ collaboration with Walker had potential conceptually, her verse simply came and went. Stashing their track toward the back end wasn’t the best placement for the song. Seeing their names billed together led to excitement from fans, but it did not live up to what it could have been.

The record loses a bit of steam in its final third, but the two final tracks are a nice send-off for the record. The bass line of “Moonlight” complements Uchis’ falsetto, and the pop feel of “Happy Now” is an interesting way to close the record.

While some songs may run a little long at times, Uchis’ dreamy R&B escapade is one of the better records in her discography. Her ability to cross R&B and dream pop complements her style, and the album is tastefully executed. “Red Moon in Venus” is worth a spin.