All Aboard

Artist: Code RedTitle: All AboardRating: 3 StarsReviewed by: Brandon Edwards

The members of Code Red all have tall tales and personal demons, each focusing a unique talent to make a healthy contribution to All Aboard (Madacy). The refreshing challenge is that they don’t sound like any other act on the scene which will make them hard to accept, and difficult for competition to outpace. Purchase a ticket and grab a window seat.

Watz lays the instrumental groundwork for All Aboard. An average beat-smith with C+ production makes it difficult to get excited about the trip ahead. Catering to the specifications of each artist can make it difficult to formulate a standout sound. The Jamaican Reggae artist JR. Dread adds the island vibe, pseudo Dylan of Da Band. Like his contemporary, he adds a different flavor to the mix that does not help to make the ride any more enjoyable. The lyricists of the group balance tracks sabotaged by corny catch phrases and metaphors, with superior wordplay, heartfelt content and enthusiasm. El One is a close second to Manfred’s confident consistency.

“Give me a Reason” is an amazing effort that captures the relevant and often forgotten topic about war through the first hand experience of a soldier: “They send him overseas to fight for their democracy but all he thinks about is that daughter he never got to see/And all he wanted was money for college, now he’s fighting wars for a government hungry for dollars.” Preach! “Long Time Coming” and “Brother Louis,” a song about interracial dating complete with visual detail and abashed racism come off brilliant. Watz delivers, valiantly assisted by Todd Smith on soulful strings and impressive key work.

After “Atomic,” “Pimp it out” and “The Sky is Falling”, passengers will signal the drive to let them off. “She’s a chicken, there a chicken one mi ‘fraid a pluck pluck/ Here a cluck, there a cluck, everywhere a cluck cluck.” It gets no wacker. An executive producer, with an honest opinion and Ginsu blade to cut the fat, was left out of All Aboard. However, the group’s versatility, unique chemistry and talent prove for a positive sound with potential.