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Album Review: Black Lightning - The BellRays

The internet is a weird weird place. I was searching for the theme song to Black Lightning, the greatest live action superhero TV show ever. Tidal thinks I'm crazy and keeps linking be to an album by a group called The BellRays. I've never heard of them before but I stop fighting with Tidal and just hit play on the album to see where it would take me. Since I knew nothing about The BellRays. Well as it turns out their music is right up my alley.

The BellRays is a 4 person band that's been around with a rotation of members since 1990. According to Wikipedia, because I didn't know where else to gather information. Someone should really get on updating that. The Black Lightning album actually came out back in 2010 and from what I've learned, it was also fan funded. So I'm late, but Black Lightning strikes without warning, that's a comics joke.

So, the way I found this album is because it was recommended based on the fact that I occasionally listen to a little punk rock and whatever it is Bad Brains does and I came across it through the Artist Radio feature. Similar to Bad Brains it would be impossible to pin them down to one genre. There's plenty of rock, there's plenty of funk and even plenty of soul.

This will sound strange at first, but I would compare them to Ike and Tina Turner. Not the drugs and violence but the fact that they do a lot of genres different. "Private Dancer," "What's love," and "Proud Mary," are all going to sound different. Likewise, "Black Lightning," "Sun Comes Down," and "Any More," will all sound vastly different and jarring when played back to back. The exception is "Power to Burn," which mixes all three together.

My one complaint is that there's no real flow to the album. There's ten tracks on the album. I love all ten. The problem comes when you go from tracks like "On Top," to "Anymore." You go from tracks like "Close Your Eyes," to "The Way." It just doesn't allow you to enjoy a single mood. Maybe that's the point. Black Lightning strikes suddenly and without warning so you never know when you're going to do a solo in traffic.

It's a great album. I couldn't classify the band in any genre. I know they're good. I know their lead singer Lisa Kekaula is great and it's kind of wild to hear her belt out these soul songs and follow it up with some in your face rock music. It's a short album and your lunch break probably gives you plenty of time to check it out and maybe something else.

You should buy Darrell's Book, watch him on the Blerds Online YouTube Channel or The CP Time and Powerbomb Jutsu podcasts. 

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This post first appeared on Blerds Online, please read the originial post: here

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Album Review: Black Lightning - The BellRays


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