In October of last year, GRiZ emerged from a self-imposed yearlong hiatus from the spotlight in stellar fashion, blessing fans with two new records. With the world once again dancing, the Detroit-bred artist returned at the start of 2019 with the announcement that his fifth studio album – and a nationwide tour – was on the way. After dropping a total of 5 joints leading up to the April release, GRiZ has officially liberated the 14-track Ride Waves in its entirety. And, my friends, now is the time to polish off those dancing shoes, maybe grab a box of tissues, and ready yourself for a wondrous journey into the sonic evolution and vibe-laden masterpiece that is Ride Waves.
Utilizing a new wave of instrumentation, in a way that only GRiZ can, and the assist of a long list of star-studded collaborations, Ride Waves serves as a sonic reflection of human nature and the world at large. Of course, even through the presence of darkness, GRiZ wraps everything up in a wondrous presentation that radiates with love, positive energy and faith of a good today and even better tomorrow. Throughout the new album, listeners are opened to highs, lows, success, heartbreak, tragedy and a noticeable commentary on numerous socio-political subject matter. It’s raw, honest and authentic, but it’s never putting focus on the “bad” with the intention of dropping the vibe. Quite the opposite, Ride Waves takes all the “bad” and wraps it up in the warm embrace of funky, jazzy, hard-hitting hip-hop-infused production, flipping the perceived negative into a hopeful and optimistic take on all the experiences the world – and life – hits us with on the daily. Ride Waves is uplifting from start to finish, not once giving up hope that we can all come together to manifest a world of love that rises above any attempt at division, evil or any other ill will.
Exemplifying the evolving nature of GRiZ’s sound and sonic stylings, Ride Waves includes collaborations with quite the cast of featured artists, all of whom step to the plate with the highest of quality vocals. Whether they’re kicking verses or lacing the funked up tracks with soothing, soulful crooning, the artists joining GRiZ on Ride Waves all do their part to bring a unique energy to each track, breathing even more life into the already lively cuts. From Wiz Khalifa, Matisyahu and DRAM to Bootsy Collins, Valentina, Yoshi Flower and all the rest, Ride Waves hits listeners with all the collabs we needed, even if we weren’t aware how badly we needed them. And, as you work your way through the album, you’ll be left wondering why it took so long for GRiZ to pick up the microphone – each time he extricates prose from deep within, it feels beyond natural to hear his voice on wax.
Ride Waves features all that we have come to know and love from GRiZ. But, more than that, it showcases the after-glow of his own journey into self, sound and the personal evolution that has led to this moment in time. Fortunately for all of us, this journey has been manifested in the form of beautiful music. Ride Waves is at once an album you can vibe to, dance to, party to, get lost and found in – much like the creative process must have been for GRiZ, the music becomes a medicine for each and every one of us experiencing the highs, lows, trials, tribulations and blessings of life here in the physical.
Ride Waves is available now on all major streaming platforms.
Press play on the album stream, as well as the entrancing lyric video for the Yoshi Flower-featured “Maybe,” below.