By Yeana Kim |Staff Writer|
Ra Ra Riot has got people rioting about their newly released album, Beta Love. Their third album was released on Jan. 22 via Barsuk Records.
Ra Ra Riot is an American Indie rock band from Syracuse, who were established in 2006 in NY.
The group consists of vocalist Wes Miles, bassist Mathieu Santos, drummer Kenny Bernard, guitarist Milo Bonacci and violinist Rebecca Zeller.
Beta Love will be the band’s first album since cellist Alexandra Lawn left the band.
Instead of adding a new member, they have re-defined their roles within the group. People can notice the difference between their past musical style and their new one. Their earlier style was baroque pop and is now geared towards synth-pop.
Inspired by their new lineup, the recording process found Ra Ra Riot’s members rediscovering and re-defining their roles within the atmosphere of the group.
They built demos created mostly by Miles and producer Dennis Herring at Sweet Tea Studios.
The album was recorded in Oxford, Mississippi with producer Dennis Herring of Modest Mouse, Elvis Costello, and Wavves.
“Making the record was a lot of fun for us, because we were in a completely different environment, trying a completely new approach,” said Santos when talking about the sessions.
The album’s songs are influenced by the works of cyper-punk novelist William Gibson and futurist Ray Kurzweil’s musings on the technological singularity and trans-humanism.
According to Thelantorn.com, “Ra Ra Riot’s music has always exuded a smooth, calculated rough to grab hold of the listener’s heart.
With Tuesday’s release, the band lets loose and seems to shift into a more indie-dance, synth-pop groove than anything it has produced in the past. Lyrically, the band remains as talented as ever.”
Title track, “Beta Love” is very sweet and interesting. The sound of the violin was beautiful and wonderful. Moreover, the rest of the music that the album includes is lively and bursting compared to the past songs they’ve recorded.
Miles’ voice also became more powerful and thick, grabbing the listener’s attention with every single harmony. The style of songs become more indie and synth-pop as the tracks play on.
The album is great to listen to while taking a drive alone where your not embarrassed to get excited and scream lyrics at the top of your lungs. However, even though some may favor their new style of music others oppose the new shift.
CSUSB students Jay Kang and Munie Kim both said that the music was cheerful but it almost imitated Maroon 5, which gives them more incentive to just listen to Maroon 5 rather than Ra Ra Riot.
In “When I Dream,” Miles sings, “And when I dream, it’s not of you, oh/ And when I call, I wonder, I do/ I run, yeah I run, but you follow/ Drop to my knees but you haunt me more/ And when I dream, it’s not of you.”
Miles professes his attempt to get over someone who he seemingly does not want around.
Overall, the album is something listeners may take some getting used to. Some bands can pull off transitions between sounds and it appears Ra Ra Riot has done just that.
Old fans can definitely give the album a chance while new fans could enjoy adding it on to their playlist.