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Rei - Album Review: A Place To Stand

11 Jul 2017 // A review by James Castady-Kristament

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A Place To Stand is the sophomore album by New Zealand's very own urban artist ReiA Place To Stand is an intricate album both in concept and production. Multi-faceted conceptually, multi-cultural and multi genre, I found A Place To Stand an intriguing listen.

There's so much going on in this album. It really had me thinking a lot about what it took as an artist to make A Place To StandRei produced this album himself which is really impressive when you take in the intricacies of the beat making, not to mention the skillful songwriting and lyrical craftsmanship involved in the 12 tracks on this album. Rei's talent is truly awe inspiring and I don't say that lightly.

I would categorise A Place To Stand as a Pop album. Not Pop in the Britney Spears sense but in the sense that Rei has been able to successfully integrate the current sound of contemporary popular music. He's not behind like a lot of New Zealand artists tend to be. He is right on time, current and present in what is popular in the here and now.

I would describe his sound as similar in style to Drake with melodic vocal phrases delivered in a Trap style, punctuated with the familiar Yah, Yeahs and ayes. The music is contemporary Trap with elements of Jamaican Dance Hall and Drum N Bass. But this is merely the frame of the music, The canvas so to speak. What makes this album special is what he does with this style. And what he does is takes it and makes it his own.

You won't find the usual soulless uninspired money, guns and Xanax lyrical themes of American Trap music here. A Place To Stand talks of Rei's personal experiences and incorporates Rei's Maori heritage and Kiwi nationality. With Kiwi slang and the use of Te Reo Maori, in the form of a deep pitch shifted chanting voice that invokes images of ancient Maori warriors casting incantations. 

The overall production of A Place To Stand really is world class and I believe Rei as a songwriter, producer and artist could stand toe to toe with the best the world of contemporary music has to offer.

Everything Rei does, from his marketing, his music videos and his music, is well thought out and well crafted. If he was an American artist I'd say that he'd have a record deal with a Major label and a $500k advancement by now. I just hope that being an artist in New Zealand doesn't stop him from reaching his full potential.

You really have to check out  A Place To Stand to understand why I'm so impressed by this album and I really hope you do. You won't regret it.

Click on the album cover to hear A Place To Stand on Spotify.

 

About Rei

Chief, Rangatira, Fair-skinned, Rapper… we all have our definitions of ourselves and those that are given to us. Reiʻs album A Place To Stand is a personal and universal. Itʻs beautifully produced with content that rides the line between reverse colonisation, inspiration, hip-hop, culture and a passion to make a dope album.

If Rei is an example of upcoming Kiwi artists, the future looks bright. From creating music the last 10 years to present his multi genre sound, Rei is definitely on the cutting edge, and is influenced by our global music community. Mostly by the UK House/Garage style, by Hip hop from major US rappers but, his album has the extra elements of Māori language, haka and kiwi slang, making the sum of A Place to Stand a smoothly produced audio experience. It also sounds BIG in a stadium or club setting.

Already releasing a number of tracks from this album, A Place To Stand includes beauties like Mix an electro acoustic ballad (with Rei on guitar), a lot of club bangers such as Hāti and Deep and a few not-so- cheesy love songs like Basics.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Rei

Releases

Rangatira
Year: 2018
Type: EP
A Place To Stand
Year: 2017
Type: Album

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