Album Review: Ras Xix
Thursday, May 1, 2014 at 12:47 PM | Monifa Barker
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Singapore-born indie progressive rock multi-instrumentalist, Ras Xix, brings us his self-titled, debut full-length album today. Now residing in Austin, Texas Ras travels in hopes to spread his music to a larger audience, as well as capture iterations of neo rock intertwined with elements of world and electronica music. With intricate lyrics and superb instrumentation that encapsulates nostalgia from the late 90s, Ras has created an impassioned set of music, overall. The LP starts off slow with the barely impressive “Weightless With You;" the song is not bad despite the fact that the rock single suffers a little from mediocrity and lack of originality.  However, all is not lost as the awesome, dramatic acoustic ballad, “Nora 5” takes over and makes up for the debut track’s shortcomings. The instrumentation on “Nora 5,” which includes Spanish styled riffs, is certified radio friendly and showcases Ras’ raspy yet stimulating vocal range.  The single is also one of the most enticing songs on the album.  “Nora5” ends with a couple of lazy strokes of a guitar; which adds intensity to the dramatic tone of the song.  On the electronic, progressive and alternative infused “Over," Ras agonizes over a lost love that he can't seem to get over, “Am I over you at all?/It's no mystery at all, pull me closer…/I can't feel a thing at all /Am I over you at all?/There's no motion left at all /Are you listening to a word I say? /Don't you delay,” demands the singers over loud drums and blaring guitars. The lyrics to the song may be a tear jerker for the lovesick listener, but the production makes “Over” great head banging music as well.  "Simulacrum,” a melodic progressive rock tune, finds the singer urging the listener to embrace their sole intentions. Flamenco melodic progressive rock ballad, “Las Arenas de Cartagena," talks about blood that was shed on the shores of Cartagena, Columbia as results of battles that were fought.  “Las Arenas de Cartagena” is the strongest song on the album and was also written along the shores of Boca Grande in Cartagena. The über eerie “Miss Simon” delves into issues concerning mind control and how to escape it followed by the albums closing track “Machine,”  a pop-rock dance record that explores the dynamics of socio-political issues. Listening, you may become lulled with the soft distant whistling within the last minute of the song as the album comes to a satisfying end. Ras Xix is a thought provoking, excellently constructed, probing and mysterious musical piece that is full of life and as a singer and musician Ras is talented enough to deliver it. 

Tags: Rock Out, ras xix