ALBUM REVIEW: Return To Life - Rassie Ai (2008)
Return To Life is the official full-length debut offering by one third of DKR, Takura Makoni known in the music circles as Rassie Ai. Having been in the music industry for many years since the days of The Future Compilation by Delani Makhalima, it has been a long time coming and definitely an album overdue.
This album is definitely in a different class compared to previous efforts by Rassie Ai and marks a significant evolution in the man's musical approach. It boasts of a sound untapped by many with undeniable African energy carried through the musical composition. The opening track, Blue Steel World is an insight into the exploits of humans in developing the world , creating an imbalance in different societies stripping them of pure forms of living they had prior to that. This song is an introduction to a world of thoughts through the eyes of Rassie Ai. Smiles & Cries is definitely a gem and is like a personal Rassie Ai diary about inspiration to live. It talks about the difficulty of life in our day to day and how what we live for raises us from those downs. It is my favourite track on this album.
Rassie Ai openly vents his frustration at the hypocrisy of life and the political system in place. As is in the song Free To Breathe he picks up from the lyrical intensity of Blue Steel World. The emphasis on reality of the world is and what it could be is synonimous throughout this project. Step Over Them(video below), has received a lot of airplay and exposure as the lead single off this album. I instantly connected with its 'Zimbabweaness' and the call to pride ourselves in our homeland. I also enjoyed the title track Return To Life which calls us all to enrich our lives with the ernest purity of love and simplicity. To describe Rassie Ai based on this album i would say he is a soldier for the righteous cause of the African spirit.
I think some people might find it hard to understand this album due to the 'patois' inclination in his lyrics and delivery. It's something that might take some getting used to and i had to give it a few listens to really have a more complete idea of what was being sung in the songs. Believe it or not i am still trying to find a proper classification for this genre. I usually like my albums to have more tracks but this 8 track journey is straight to the point. This is no longer the Rassie Ai of old and he is more mature, has far more controlled delivery with a twist of Bob Marley influence.
Cover Art - 9/10(one of the best i have seen)
Music - 8/10(mature and refreshingly different)
Mixing & Mastering - 8/10
'I Like' Factor - 7/10
Get the album here: http://www.kynrecords.com
Step Over Them