Album Review | Count Me In
By Randy Harris
Rebelution is an American reggae band from Santa Barbara, California, formed in 2004. Immediately praised for their catchy hooks and passionate lyrics, the band recorded three albums and two EPs between 2006 and 2012. On June 10, 2014, Rebelution released their latest project Count Me In. The band has a unique ability to twist lyrics and rap them over beautifully laden reggae music. The lyrics tend to be very relatable and socially conscious, dealing with common themes spanning a broad spectrum, from relationships to politics.
The title track, “Count Me In” starts off the album with an airy pop tune. It’s simple and catchy and sings the perfect message to begin an album, “Count me in, always.” The skillful dynamics and staccato stabs from the horns, along with enticing background guitar, create a tasteful flavor. “De-Stress” has a high energy intro, followed by belting vocals, before relaxing into the groovy verse. A jazzy trumpet solo tops off the track. “More Love” is a very chill groove with a simple message, “That’s what we need/More love/That’s what we need to succeed.” The band elaborates on this concept to imply that love is more important than money, by singing “Not dollars/Not what we need.”
After a bit of a psychedelic intro, “Lost in Dreams” breaks into a more hip hop-style drum beat. This tune explores the difference between dreams and reality, using simple analogies to express complex emotions. “Fade Away” will make any listener feel as if they are floating in the clouds. This soft, smooth track is colored in with spacey guitar tones. “Hate to Be the One” presents an issue we have all experienced. Specifically, it discusses a situation where your buddy is in a relationship that you know cannot last. Anyone in that situation hates to be the one to tell him the truth. But the song can be applied to any number of situations in which you do not want to break the truth of a bad scenario to someone close to you.
Bringing in the second half of the album, “Notice Me” features jazzy chord work in the intro and verse. In “Roots Reggae Music,” the band professes its love for roots reggae. The lyrics say “We’re groovin’/Nothing like roots reggae music/I turn it up I wanna lose it.” The music is further described as medicine for healing the nation. “Counterfeit Love” is about exactly what the title says. The lyrics speak of distrusting a woman’s fake love, singing “You say you love me, but I don’t trust you, no.”
“Against the Grain” begins with screaming horns in the intro. This track advises listeners to rise above those who deter us from succeeding in life. Do not let those who misunderstand you keep you from pursuing happiness. Finally, “Invasion” finishes off the album with a more rock-oriented track. Heavy, distorted guitar is featured in the intro, bringing the energy up for a funky verse. This track offers an insight into the gruesome and immoral acts humans have committed out of greed and the quest for power.
As we can see, the content of this album covers a diverse range of themes. Rebelution has continued to inspire and evoke emotions, as they always have, through poetic lyrics and groovy reggae beats. Count Me In is a wonderful addition to an already stellar body of work from Rebelution.