Kali Uchis’ Red Moon in Venus: On embracing sensuality and spiritual growth through hardship

Photo by: Charlie Martin

Rating: 4/5

Red Moon in Venus marks the newest and most sensual body of work released yet by Colombian-American pop R&B icon, Kali Uchis. Red Moon in Venus, Uchis’ third studio album, was released on March 3, featuring 15 tracks influenced by ‘70s nostalgia, sounds found in nature, and sensuality at its highest degree.

Having gained global recognition through the release of her second studio album in 2020, Sin Miedo (del Amor y otros Demonios), Uchis established herself in the music industry as an innovator in Latin pop and R&B. Following the critically acclaimed Sin Miedo (del Amor y otros Demonios), Uchis is stepping into a more sultry and mature era within her music career with the performances found in Red Moon in Venus.

To tie the album’s themes and sound within more significant universal concepts, Kali Uchis carefully titled Red Moon in Venus after astrological beliefs of “blood moons,” which she says are believed to trigger strong emotional effects and reactions. The album title and aesthetic work in unison to create a warm, sultry atmosphere for the listener. At the very least, this album will leave you wanting to light a candle or two, and journal about your love life.

Red Moon in Venus is a remarkably cohesive and consistent album in its sound. While all songs remain original in lyrical content and nuances, the transitions from one piece to another are remarkably seamless, most notably throughout the record’s first half. In particular, the transition between “Worth the Wait (feat Omar Apollo)” and “Love Between…” is vibrant and carefully designed making this moment a must listen in the album. By maintaining such a level of attention to detail for sound cohesiveness, Red Moon in Venus is a relaxing, easy listen for Kali Uchis’ fans and casual R&B listeners.

Similarly strong are the mature love themes explored through lyricism in Red Moon in Venus. Departing from cliches and surface-level representations of love, songs such as “I Wish you Roses” embrace loving goodbyes, while other tracks like “Deserve Me (feat. Summer Walker)” show how Uchis recognizes that some are undeserving of unconditional love. 

On the other hand, the album is dynamic enough to feature feel-good songs to balance out more emotionally complex themes of heartbreak and hardship. Songs like “Moonlight,” “Happy Now,” and “Hasta Cuando” show a more snarky, lively side of Red Moon in Venus to counter other sad tracks in the record.

 The features in the album fell short. Songs including featured artists, as in the case of “Fantasy (feat. Don Toliver)” and “Deserve Me (feat. Summer Walker),” were rarely  distinguishable due to the contributions of collaborators. In “Fantasy (feat. Don Toliver),” the song failed to impress or push the boundaries of Kali Uchis’ discography. This is not to say that Don Toliver and Kali Uchis are incompatible for collaborations, as previous work, including their collaboration on “Drugs N Hella Melodies (feat. Kali Uchis),” prove that the two are more than capable of creating engaging, innovative music together. 

Red Moon in Venus proudly embraces sensuality, love and maturity as pillars of divine femininity while transporting the listener into an ideal realm of romance and spiritual growth. 

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