Red Moon in Venus

Colombian-American singer Kali Uchis posing in her music video "La Luz."

Rating: 8/10

Latin singer-songwriter Kali Uchis has released her third album, “Red Moon in Venus,” following two very impactful releases in “Sin Miedo (del Amor y Otros Demonios),” a jazz-inspired Spanish album, and “Isolation,” a modern rhythm and blues classic.

Even before the release of her debut album, Uchis has been catching the attention of industry superstars. She has frequently collaborated with rapper Tyler, the Creator, producer Kaytranada and virtual band Gorillaz. It was a very short period of time from her debut to be propelled into the spotlight.

Uchis has been able to meet and exceed expectations with each major release. Upon “Isolation’s” release, Pitchfork called her “a new gravitational force in pop.”

And now, following monumental releases from other rhythm and blues stars SZA and Beyonce, with nothing but the highest expectations, Uchis drops “Red Moon in Venus.”

Bound within 15 tracks, “Red Moon in Venus” is an extremely colorful musical expression that should prove to anyone that Kali Uchis is here to stay at the forefront of pop.

It contains only three features, but all are other young pop-rhythm and blues stars: Omar Apollo, Don Toliver and Summer Walker. Each feature brings their own unique talent to the project, giving it an interesting dimension. 

Throughout “Red Moon in Venus,” Kali Uchis dabbles in her inspirations like Latin jazz singers and early 21st-century pop stars, while introducing new sounds and ideas to her style. Electronic, funk and rap are all integrated into her sound to create a unique and signature blend.

This is only further developed by her bilingualism. “Moonlight,” thus far the best song on the entire album, exhibits Uchis swinging between English and Spanish, utilizing the distinct sounds of each language over a spacey funk backing.

“Moonlight” isn’t the only highlight on the album, though. “Deserve Me (feat. Summer Walker)” sounds both fantastical while also highly energetic as both Uchis and Walker deliver fast-paced melodies. A more traditional Rhythm and Blues song, “Worth the Wait (feat. Omar Apollo),” not only has a catchy chorus but also some of Uchis’s best melodic verses on the album.

“I Wish You Roses,” “Fantasy (feat. Don Toliver)” and “Happy Now” are all enjoyable pieces of “Red Moon in Venus” in their own way as well. The album is as artistic as it is fun to listen to.

That does not mean that imperfections do not exist on the album. While every song is good, not every song is great, and certainly not as standout as “Moonlight.”

But all in all, “Red Moon in Venus” will not soon be forgotten in the world of rhythm and blues. Even though it's only been out for less than a week, Uchis has already received momentous critical acclaim for her album, including a 8.2/10 from Pitchfork.

So whether you are looking for a jazzy, innovative pop album or the classic sounds of latin rhythm and blues, “Red Moon in Venus” delivers on all fronts.

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