Born Again is the album by the American synthpop band Red Flag. It marks the comeback of the band by Chris Reynolds after the death of brother and band mate, Mark Reynolds, in 2003. The album is dedicated to the memory of Mark Reynolds.
|Doom & Gloom||4:26|
|Last Call For Love||3:03|
|Wait Here For Me||3:18|
|Born Again (Extended)||3:54|
|Born Again (CD, Album)||Plan B Records (2)||9 40011-2||US||2007|
|Born Again (13xFile, FLAC, Album)||Plan B Records (2)||766994001125||US||2013|
This is the album that starts the new era of Chris Reynolds solo as Red Flag and I think that fans who have followed the band through the late 90’s and early millenium will enjoy the current sound he is creating on this work. The album comes packaged in a simple, but well designed and cool looking cardboard digi-pack case containing lyrics and other info. It was really great to get my hands on this release after the long wait and surprising news that the band lives on.
The style of this album is moody and dark, though there are plenty of tracks with an uptempo club-friendly beat. One thing I learned with this album is you want to listen to it on a system that delivers a good amount of bass, otherwise, the mid and high frequencies sound strange and lacking. The music is mixed heavy on the lows and so it’s best to listen to it with plenty of bass to get the full effect of the kick drums and awesome lower synths. This is pretty much true on the entire album or else you really just don’t get a good taste of what’s offered.
«Born Again» is the title track for the album, though I think the overall album name might be symbolic of Chris’ comeback as Red Flag, the track speaks more about born again Christians. This is an excellent production and fun dance track that should do well on dancefloors and fans will enjoy as a style possibly closest to the new wave of the 80’s, though with a much darker and brooding style. Though I wouldn’t really compare Red Flag to Clan of Xymox in overall style, the pattern of their music development has been similar through the years going from new wave, on through a dark synthpop, goth-flavor and now a sort of electro-industrial sound. The dark and heaviness of the album shines through on «Doom & Gloom» with it’s brooding and heavy pulsating synths and deep, melodic vocals dripping with cynicism. After this heavy, brooding piece we’re brought back with a little energy injection with «Pouring Rain», while remaining somber in vocal structure and lyrics, the tempo and synth compositions keep the listener moving.
At this point we’ve gained a great taste of what we’re offered with the current Red Flag and I think any doubts have been disspelled now as to what Chris is capable of. The album moves on drifting from somber to upbeat pieces, always with the heavy, pulsing bass synths and melodic vocals, at times with a lot of resonating echo and reverb. Rejoicing through «Wonderful» and falling into the groove and rut of «Crazy» and «Twisted», the lyrics take you on a journey through the mind of someone who has been through a lot. The music helps to portray these themes well from the moving dance-friendly beats of «Wonderful» and powerful accents of «Bangladome» to the softer, yet still emotionally charged «Last Call For Love».
After listening to the first eleven powerful pieces, we’re treated with an «extended» remix of «Born Again» which I think people will enjoy as this piece will probably one of the most prominent selections from this disc. It’s something that club DJ’s can use to mix well with other pieces, or as just a slightly alternate version to mix things up a bit. And finally we’re treated to a taste of the classical piano training that Chris has had in the form of «Gaslamp Paradisio». This piece is excellent, well composed for the piano lover and includes some great layers of synths for added ethereal and ambient moods that are spellbinding. This wraps up the album and all I can say is well done.