​ “Red Moon in Venus” is an Ode to the Act of Loving


Kali Uchis’ fourth album, “Red Moon In Venus,” is an ode to the act of loving others despite our differences. (Courtesy of Instagram)

With the release of her fourth album, “Red Moon In Venus,” Kali Uchis is shouting to the world that she is a lover girl. As always, the Colombian-American artist sings in both English and Spanish, bringing an element of uniqueness to her music that separates her from the crowd. The album is infused with beautiful melodies and messages that feel like a warm hug. Despite waiting until after Valentine’s Day to drop it, Uchis made up for any lost time with the content of the music. Even in just the name of the album, “Red Moon In Venus,” Uchis brings us a shimmering and reflective perspective on love, with red being representative of love, the moon often representing femininity and Venus, the goddess of love. The album cover captures these motifs perfectly with an enchanting close-up photo of Uchis glittering with jewels, warm-toned makeup and butterflies in her hair. She uses these feminine references to nature throughout the album, with inspired songs named “in My Garden…,” “I Wish you Roses” and “Moonlight,” giving the album a mysterious and sultry feel. But although Uchis loves her flower imagery, the love depicted in “Red Moon In Venus” is not all sunshine and daisies.

The album brings us a representation of love in all its stages and forms; many of Uchis’s lyrics are specific enough to convey her emotions clearly, but nondescript enough that they can be applied to different types of love, whether romantic, platonic or personal. My two favorite songs on the album are “Moonlight,” which has an alluring, unconfined energy, and “Fantasy (feat. Don Toliver),” featuring a catchy beat that flows nicely with Uchis’ harmonies and smooth background vocals. Although each song on the album casts a different mood, one thing that can be certain about all of them: they each cultivate a strong feeling one way or another. The range of emotions she covers is very broad, reflective of the range of emotions felt while experiencing love. “Love Between…,” the fourth song on the album, is about Uchis’s expression of emotion in the crush of love, what some might call the “honeymoon stage,” where everything is perfect. In this song, she has deeply poetic lyrics like, “If you take away my air, how am I supposed to breathe? / Tell me, why would we be here if this ain’t meant to be?” Later, she flips this narrative on its head, for instance in “Hasta Cuando,” when she whispers, “Paint me as the villain if that makes you feel better / Make everyone hate me if that makes you feel better.” The jaw-dropping lyrics she pulls out here make “Hasta Cuando” an unforgettable ballad of revenge, one in which Uchis undeniably has the last laugh in a struggle  against a former lover.

Another breakout song from the album is “I Wish you Roses,” in which Uchis sings about parting from someone but wishing them well. Uchis chose to lead the album with this single, singing, “I wish you roses while you can still smell them.” While the person she is referring to may figuratively be dead to her, she hopes they still receive flowers, or blessings, while they are still literally alive. It is interesting that she chose to start the album with this song, considering that this type of mature, healed state usually comes in the last stage of love, some time after a breakup or falling out. In many ways, though, it envelops the kind of free, unconditional love she hopes to give to others, regardless of their differences or history. This desire is evident throughout the album and rooted in deeply personal reasons for Uchis — in “Moral Conscience,” she includes the line, “I guess I was just lookin’ for the love no one’s showed me in my childhood.” It is obvious that Uchis drew inspiration from the scars of her loves past to produce a fantastical, thoughtful album that is ultimately about healing after heartbreak.. “Red Moon In Venus” is a beautiful tribute to love in all its forms and exactly the kind of message the world needs right now: we must love each other despite our differences.