Get the boards out and lets get to the beach because there is a sick Wave to be surfed. This wave is extraordinarily groovy and perfect for a long ride. The Wave is our album of the week and R3HAB’s second studio album. So surfs up dudes, as we talk through riding The Wave.
R3HAB released his album The Wave on August 24. As stated above, it is his sophomore album, after Trouble in 2017. Trouble was such a strong start for the young artist, and The Wave has been another successful chapter entered into the artists story.
A wave that crashes on the shore has a pattern. Imagining the beach, most of us can see and hear them. Water rushing back or settling into the sand, as another wave prepares to hit the shore. Some with force that seems to shake the sand beneath, while others gently push forward just a little off the ocean. Within waves there is a rhythm and a story. This behavior of water is exactly what R3HAB captures in his album.
The Wave can really be broken down into three parts: the build, the break, and the settle. This seeming structure matches that of a wave, but also strengthens the album in two other ways. The structure gives a cyclical attribute, meaning you can listen to it on repeat and it just flows right back into itself… like a wave (whoa). Beyond this cycle, the album is also given a plot line by the structure. The album tells a story, not a specific one but one that the listener wants to hear. Both of these attributes are so high level for any album, and really make it impossible to not see The Wave as a great album- without even going into our song to song talk.
Getting back to the structure, The Wave begins with a soft build. The debut song on the album, “Eyes Closed”, is such a relaxing entrance. It has this calming feel, while also building. You hear these synth noises rising and a couple light drops, but it is nothing that jolts you from the relaxing feel of the song.
The relaxing piano pace, set by “Eyes Closed”, then bumps up a tad moving into the albums title song- “The Wave”. Again a song that seems to stay lower on the hype meter, but ups the groove meter a tad. This is our first preview of the beef of the album’s vibe, which is a Where’s the Vibe vocabulary word: hookilicious. Hookilicious by definition is a song that is completely defined and made by an amazing hook. You will see how The Wave goes on to embody this.
Moving further into the build section of the album, we come to “Radio Silence”. Again with this song we have a little bump up in pace, another great hook, and one of our first songs that features singing. The singing, great hook, and upped pace hint again to the beef of the album, and also enhance that story-telling attribute we highlighted earlier.
Following “Radio Silence”, the album clicks to “Cherry Blossom”. This song doesn’t really boost the pace like before, but instead matches. Beyond matching the pace, it gives something so unique to the album. This song does not have a lot of singing and utilizes this oriental type of sound mixed with the albums hookilicous groove. It was one of Austin’s top picks off the album because of this.
The wading in the water on our boards is now OVER, because “Cherry Blossom” marks the end of The Waves build. “Hold on Tight” is such a fitting name for the song that breaks us into the break of The Wave. The song title lets you know its time to get your toes wrapped around the board, because the surf of our lives is about to begin. “Hold on Tight” is the first true installment of the groovy hookilicious album ahead. It also utilizes lyrics that tell a story of love. Due to the groove, lyrics, hookilicious-ness, and setting of the pace for the beef of the album, “Hold on Tight” was a top pick for Where’s the Vibe as a whole.
Now looking to the rest of the break section of the album, we see How You’ve Been, Ain’t That Why, Rumors (With Sofia Carson), Tell Me It’s Ok, Whiplash, Wrong Move, We Do (feat. Miranda Glory), Back to You, Good Intentions (feat. Lourdiz), and Lullaby. We know that’s pretty much every song of the album, but like we said the break is really the beef of the album. It provides for such an experience, surfing this wave song to song, hearing the stunning ability of so many different vocalists, feeling and relating to the stories told by each songs different lyrics, and yet being able to vibe to that absolutely undeniably groovy hookilicious-ness that defines this album. All of these attributes meld together this absolute piece of art that is our second vocabulary word of this blog post: “audigy”.
We at Where’s the Vibe did not invent this word, but had to incorporate it into our vocabulary. We and @Audigyofficial have a mutual follow relationship on Twitter, and they are responsible for defining “audigy” as such,
“… that feeling that you get when the Music takes over you. It isn’t me, it’s everyone. We are all audigy.”
We felt this word encompasses any music that makes you truly feel and tells a story, and it belongs describing The Wave. There is such a story told and so many feelings had through listening to this album, and that is audigy. So thank you to @Audigyofficial for a phenomenal vocab word.
Back to the break portion, our top songs out of the break section are: How You’ve Been, Whiplash, We Do, and lastly Lullaby. We really enjoyed the energy and uniqness of each one, and just felt they were the top songs of an absolutely amazing list.
Beef of this amazing album out of the way, we arrive at our one song long section. The settle of the album is “Belle”. This song may not be the greatest song on the album, we’d argue it isn’t, but it is probably the most crucial song on the album. Here is why: it resets the whole thing.
We have this album that builds slowly into such a groovy masterpiece, and if it ended with “Lullaby”, you just ride this happily-ever-after-groovy-vibe forever. But that’s not the point. The Wave was crafted to be audigy, this real feeling that music brings. It looks to tell a story for all of us. “Belle” makes it so it does. It gives us this ending that closes what has happened through the album, and prepares us for the next wave to come in. And not to get to hippy dippy, but that’s life.
Things don’t just go on forever and stay the same. They change and move into new things. “Belle” is the settle that prepares the listener for what’s next; either to listen to The Wave again, or something new. “Belle” makes that cyclical aspect that we talked about earlier, and also enhances the story The Wave tells.
And just like that we wash up on shore all together. We just hit the rad-est barrel bomb to ever form on the ocean, and came out feeling amped. We surfed The Wave together, and boy would we do it again. Shoutout to R3HAB for an amazing second album. So until next time.