Album Review: Grassroots Rebels’ “Love”
ALBANY – Grassroots Rebels’ Love is the latest in the trio of releases planned by the band. Following their previous record, Kindness, Love expands on the duo’s outlook on the world around them. Consisting of just four songs, the EP combines rich acoustic instrumentation – the strings deserve a shoutout all of their very own – with strong social commentary that draws the listener in, leaving them wanting more.
With “One Heart,” an extremely fast-paced acoustic guitar begins the album, soon followed by mandolin. The song is a great example of music augmenting a tune’s lyrics – the music briefly cuts out when they sing “stop.” As the song moves forward, other instruments, such as the banjo, join in, and a lush bedrock of uplifting folk instrumentation greets listeners. The lyrical message of this piece is all too relevant in today’s world, as the singer keeps asking, “When will all the hatred stop?”
Starting with banjo and soon accompanied by mandolin, the waltzing tune “Welcome Home” is supported by contemplative lyrics and some nice harmonies. The strings that come into play as the tune builds, as well as a strummed viola, really serve the song quite nicely. It’s such a peaceful song to listen to; the mixing and mastering of this song and the whole record are superb. It sounds like you’re right in the same room as the band!
Moving along nicely, “World of Tears” features gentle acoustic picking that is quickly beset against a rich cello part and percussive mandolin. Yet another nice waltz! As the song crescendos, we are introduced to the first chorus. The repeated string phrase after each line of the chorus builds a sense of familiarity with listeners, giving them something to latch onto while hearing something new. It’s a great way to make an instrument’s part stick in your head.
Closing out this endearing EP is the rollicking bluegrass number “Love and Kindness.” This is the only track to feature percussion on the EP. While the other songs are great, the percussion really propels the energy of the album forward. With biting social commentary of the world we’re living in, for the last song, Grassroots Rebels have crafted a song that not only combines the title of their latest two EPs – a clever “easter egg” of sorts – but one that outlines a problem, and the way forward.
In just four songs, Grassroots Rebels have released another compact and efficient listening experience that blends fantastic instrumentation with an unabashed spirit of telling it how it is, fearlessly singing their truth and heart. Go and check the album out for yourself here!
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