The Colombian-American singer’s third full-length project includes guest appearances from Don Toliver, Summer Walker, & Omar Apollo.
Kali Uchis hasn’t ever been one to disappoint. Her 2018 debut album “Isolation” and its 2020 follow-up “Sin Miedo” defined her as one of pop’s most exciting new stars, and many waited eagerly for her next move. “Red Moon In Venus” is not only a third fantastic project, but possibly Uchis’ best work yet.
The production on the entire project is absolutely outstanding. It’s evident right from the start with “I Wish you Roses,” which welcomes the listener into an atmosphere unlike any other. It’s warm, it’s smooth, and it’s magnificently gorgeous. A sultry guitar lead and distant synths bring a sunset-like ambience to the album’s sonic palette. Uchis’ vocals are stunning as always, and the track sets the stage beautifully for the rest of the project.
“Worth the Wait” with Omar Apollo is a very sultry serenade. The downtempo funk-and-soul-influenced production perfectly underscores Uchis’ sentimental and characteristically excellent vocals. “All Mine” then dials this up to 11. Uchis sings about being protective and possessive of her lover in yet another beautifully orchestrated sonic landscape. The warped synths and organic, simple drums allow Uchis to shine even brighter than usual vocally.
“Fantasy” enlists Don Toliver for one of the project’s grooviest cuts. A killer layer of subdued bass keeps a good bounce going over Uchis’ immaculate performances and Toliver’s excellent guest appearance. The following track, however, is a true show stopper. “Come Te Quiero Yo” is scored by light and airy chords that give way to Uchis’ stunning performance. She sings in both Spanish and English for this beautiful love song, and the background vocals alone are enough to warrant a complete discussion. The only issue that the track faces is that it doesn’t last forever.
The album manages to maintain its beautifully warm atmosphere even when recounting the unsavory aspects of a breakup, evidenced perfectly by “Moral Conscience.” Uchis sings of an ex realizing they were in the wrong, but the atmosphere she creates both vocally and sonically dispels any idea of bitterness or spite. Instead, she favors a more self-assured and confident mood.
“Blue,” marks a sharp tonal shift. The very emotional cut is stripped back to give way to a somber performance from Uchis detailing the pain of missing one person in particular. “What’s the point of all the pretty things in the world if I don’t have you?” Uchis sings, highlighting the track’s beautiful sentiment. Brief saxophone sections bring even more life to the track. The song feels reminiscent of some of Sade’s early balladry in all the best ways.
“Moonlight” is yet another smooth and infectious jam. Twinkling synths and a deep, warped instrumental paints the perfect background for another beautiful ballad from Uchis. “Happy Now” closes out the album beautifully with a more upbeat and bright experience on both the production and vocal ends. Airy guitars and fluttering vocals from Uchis puts a smile on any face. The project ends leaving the listener wishing it could last forever.
“Red Moon In Venus” presents Kali Uchis as a fully formed artist delivering a project that only she could, and I strongly urge every pop or R&B fan to give the project a full listen. Across 14 songs she manages to bring her unique style to life in a way that few others could. It’s hard to find flaw in such a concise and well-crafted project, and the album will no doubt be in rotation for quite some time.
Kali Uchis – Red Moon In Venus: 9.0/10