By Harriet Bernard
Local Music Journalist
On March 3, 2023, R&B artist Kali Uchis released her third studio album titled Red Moon in Venus; an all-encapsulating album about love taking form. There are three features on Red Moon consisting of R&B artist Omar Apollo, as well as rappers Don Toliver and Summer Walker.
The album art is authentic to the sound of the entire album. Deep shades of red and orange represent passion and intimacy, with butterflies representing new eras and transformation. The red moon – or “blood” moon – in astrology means disruption and change; after listening to the album, these themes really come through. Uchis is known for her dreamy R&B and soul style, often making most of her tracks about romantic love and self-love.
The astrological theme for the title of the album does a lot for Uchis sound this time. Given that she is a cancer sun and scorpio moon, both her emotional and fierce sides dance around each other in between tracks, lyrically and musically.
The album consists of 15 songs and just under an hour of play time, with each track having its own message while simultaneously creating a harmonic message about love. The first track titled “In My Garden…” is a 25 second intro that leads into my personal favorite song on the album, “I Wish you Roses”. This song is about letting people go with a positive outlook to bring forth good karma, recognizing that a lot of people only receive flowers when they pass away. For Red Moon, Spotify has the Storyline feature for each song where Uchis writes a personal message and visual backstory for each track. This is an awesome way to learn more about the album right from where you listen to it.
Omar Apollo is featured on track three of the album titled, “Worth the Wait,” which is all about putting yourself first before letting just anyone into your life. Red Moon not only focuses on the motions of loving someone else but emphasizes that you need to be 100% with yourself before you put anyone into the equation. Don Toliver makes his appearance on track six, “Fantasy,” which is all about pushing for fantasy type of desire; despite being constantly told it’s unrealistic. Track thirteen titled, “Deserve Me,” features Summer Walker; “Deserve Me” is another self-love song focusing specifically on learning to accept that a relationship isn’t serving you anymore. Self-love is such an important message to young people, especially women, that are stuck in relationships that bring them down rather than lifting them up.
Uchis chose to use this album as a little message to her haters as well. Her interlude track, “Not Too Late,” is directed to those who speak badly on her name to tell them it’s not too late to start loving her instead. She makes it clear that she isn’t bothered by the haters and also recognizes that it’s all just “fan behavior” in the end.
Her last song “Happy Now” is the perfect way to end the album with the last lyrics “I’ve gotta free my mind, just wanna remember all the good things”. Uchis said in her Storyline for this track that she wanted to end the album by “washing it all away;” highlighting that happiness and peace of mind are all that matters truly and that having those things open us to greatness.
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