Rickie-G - Life is Wonderful

review - 05.09.2008 08:00

Life is wonderful, and so is this debut CD.

Life is Wonderful is Rickie-G’s first release, which came out in November 2006. Before that, the reggae singer participated in quite a number of compilation albums and worked together with artists such as Miss Monday, YA-KYIM and more.

The mini-album of five tracks starts with Kakumei no toki, which translates to something along the lines of 'revolution time.' The title seems suitable, and the track starts with a rather aggressive sounding MC introducing it. The song itself is a laid back jazz tune with an acoustic guitar in the foreground, acoustic percussion and a piano. Then, from the moderately paced song that seems to have very little to do with reggae, we are launched into A song of Freedom, which starts with a merry sounding horn section. With a nice, upbeat reggae rhythm, it’s a very enjoyable track that definitely has a very carefree and relaxing sound to it. The lyrics are, like most of Rickie-G’s songs, partially in Japanese and partially in English, and the chorus of "this is a song about Mr. Freedom" has a very high sing-along factor.

Starz, a slower paced reggae song, is up next. It’s a love song, and the slow rhythm is perfect for it. The lyrics are in both English and Japanese again, but this time the languages are more mixed together. It still works well, even when the language changes multiple times during a verse or chorus. It seems the backing vocals have been carefully arranged and they give the song a nice bit of extra charisma.

Then comes the title-track, Life is Wonderful. The tempo slows down even more, and the song mostly focuses on Rickie-G’s voice, with a little guitar and acoustic percussion. The last song of the mini-album, no rain, is a cover of American rock band Blind Melon's song of the same name. The rock feeling from the original has disappeared completely and instead it has a jazzy vibe. The beat consists of acoustic percussion only - bongo’s and djembe - which gives it a nice, groovy feeling, completely different from the original. The lyrics haven’t been altered in any way, and of course Rickie-G’s pronunciation is perfect as always.

With this debut mini-album, Rickie-G shows that he isn’t just a reggae singer, but a unique artist with a great composition skill. Life is Wonderful is simply a great release and was a great way for Rickie-G to start his career!
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