Thrive – Gratitude Attitude
1.) Too Much Pressure
3.) If I Want To
4.) Your Face
6.) Take Cover
7.) Sweet Love
8.) Freedom of Speech
10.) Little Lady
11.) California Roots
12.) So Beautiful
The Pier Album Rating:
Release Date: October 14th, 2010
Record Label: Thriving Music
Official Website: Thrive Website
Since their formation in early 2008 Thrive has gained plenty of attention from reggae fans and other musicians across the nation. Arising out of Santa Cruz, California, the five-piece hybrid reggae pioneers have toured mainly through California and Hawaii with many big names such as SOJA, Tribal Seeds, Rebelution, and Ooklah The Moc many more. Currently they are gearing up to branch ino other regions and are also performing at a number of shows across California with artists such as Junior Reid, Mike Pinto, and Rootz Underground.
Political awareness is possibly one of the biggest reasons for the development of early reggae music in in the mid 20th century. With their second full-length album Thrive uses many of the same themes except in a contemporary culture. These political connotations underlie a number of the messages in each song’s words. Justice is one of my favorites where they question the presence of our military in the Middle East over the past ten years.
“Don’t be a slave to a system that’s not even real” sings lead guitarist and vocalist Aaron Borowitz in the song titled Freedom of Speech. The politically oriented message is paired with a resonant skanking rhythm and the vocal work is spotless. The reverb effect creates an echo effect that is complimentary to the mellow atmosphere that Thrive aims to create through their music.
I think the use of two vocalists for most of the album definitely contributed to the uniqueness of Thrive’s music . The first song on Gratitude Attitude is my favorite on the whole album. Too Much Pressure added to the upbeat guitar riffs and walking bass is a catchy and well-placed synth keyboard riff that ties each measure to the next beautifully.
Nearly all of the songs are structured very similarly. In every song you will find a skank rhythm of some sort; many differ in structure solely based on guitar strumming patterns. But there are numerous wah-filled guitar solos that caught my attention & I think that the musicians talents tie together very well.
Thrive varied many of their songs on tempo of the beat. There are some mellow, slow-paced bass lines and also some songs with a faster tempo. The song So Beautiful is one of those faster paced songs that I like. It is a song about inspiration in every day life.
Their music is more tied to the roots of reggae then a number of contemporary groups whose messages deviate more to different crowds. If you are looking for an album that emphasizes the party life or smoking ganja all day, you will not find your fix here.
I suggest this album to any reggae fan. Not only do the music and melodies tie together very well, the messages of each song are very contextual and meaningful.
Written & Reviewed by: Matt Emodi
[Editors Note: All reviews are reflective of the album in it’s entirety, from start to finish. These reviews are the honest opinion of each writer/reviewer, expressing their feedback as a genuine fan of the music. Each star rating reflects their review of the album, not the band. Music is subjective. Regardless of the review or star rating, we encourage you to listen to the music yourself & form your own opinion. Spread the awareness of all music in its art & contribution]