Music Review: The Cradle EP by Blake Red
Music is a fantastic asset when it comes to combating issues pertaining to mental health. From the oldies that give voice to the personalities silenced by dementia to pounding rock that allows young people to channel their teenage angst via aggressive guitar solos, the healing power of music cannot be understated. And Chicago-based alternative rocker Blake Red knows this from personal experience.
Her newly released EP, The Cradle, features four rather fantastic alternative rock tracks that relate to the themes of redemption, resurrection, and personal reprogramming. Much of her lyrical content is about overcoming darkness, finding a new beginning, and parting with your demons. It makes sense, then, that the tracks sport titles like “The Cradle,” “This Reincarnation,” “The Darkness,” and “Follow Me.”
Let’s start at the beginning. The quick-paced title-track features strong drums, energetic guitars, and a hint of badassness that you most certainly want to set the tone for what’s coming next. There is a hint of 90s energy. But also a bit of the 80s. Having recently expressed disappointment that people no longer place some elaborate and kickass guitar solos in their music, I was pleasantly surprised to get exactly that.
“This Reincarnation” feels very familiar. Again, it has a lot to do with the old school vibes coming through on the track. It’s heavy, but melodic; assertive, but not aggressive; well arranged, but features some tried and true techniques that are hard to ignore for seasoned music enthusiasts. It’s followed by “The Darkness,” which has a similar energy to the title-track. Here, Red uses a filter for her vocals that give them a more classic electric quality.
The last song is “Follow Me.” To me, it’s a good way to conclude The Cradle, but as far as personal taste goes, it’s not my favorite, as I prefer the tone and tempo of the first and third songs. Still, “Follow Me” highlights Red’s vocal range and provides for several opportunities to show off her musical prowess. It’s a good song, through and through. The graduate of Berklee’s College of Music certainly made her teachers proud.
All of the music on The Cradle was written and arranged by Blake Red. She is also responsible for playing all of the instruments, but for the recording, Macklin Suhre was recruited to play the drums. The EP was recorded and mixed by Daniel Farnsworth and mastered by Doug McBride For more music and/or info from Blake Red, check out her Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Bandcamp platforms.
Note* Music provided for objective review by our partners.