‘The Good, The Bad & The Ugly’ is a 10-track opus, the album is both a dedication and a therapy to the musical, personal and emotional journey that RIO has trodden over recent years.
Following a hiatus from music which gave RIO a much-needed stop gap to focus on his own personal growth, the return to music alongside a cultured, refined and considered album highlights the evolution and talent of the Manchester star. With impeccably chosen beats that capture the depth of topics and the mood of each record, the album is executively produced by JSD. Making the bold move to work with the same producer for the full album, it is clear the partnership is rooted in deep understanding and connection as the resulting material flips through genres, moods and styles with tangible results that perfectly reflecting different periods of RIO’s journey.
‘The Good, The Bad & The Ugly’ is an honest, lyrical account through experience, growth, pain and strength that touches the depths of emotion and delivers an uncompromised musical collection to keep listeners gripped to its message. Whether RIO is already on your music radar or he is a first-time discovery, ‘The Good, The Bad & The Ugly’ is a proud and strong statement and a testament to his skill as a UK Rap star.
Having previously released the introspective ‘Ghost’, which is the album opener, RIO divulges his reasons for taking a step back from music by reflecting on his journey and truthfully unpicking mistakes, frustrations and the strength he had to muster to rise again. A striking introduction to his artist rebirth, ‘Ghost’ sets the tone for follow up single ‘Awake’ and having laid his past to rest with his intro, ‘Awake’ brings the snap of vibrancy, hunger and determination that has always been central to the tenacious emcees craft, seen again on the newly unveiled ‘Season’s Change’ with both delivering a steady influence of grime to proceedings. The album titled track, featuring Misha B, goes on to bring contrasting depth and dynamics to the music, whilst ‘Medusa’ featuring Mr Benz carries the Caribbean flows and tones that are one of the key sonic elements of the album. As the second half of the album unfolds, RIO switches his style and takes a more soulful and heartfelt approach. A moment to gain perspective and look to the future for better outcomes, ‘2020 Vision’, ‘The Last Straw’ and ‘Guide Me’, featuring Aya Bleu, are in contrast to the energetic first half of the album, giving a more mellow setting for the thought-provoking lyrics and passionate attitude which RIO is expressing. Leaning towards Hip Hop and Soul elements, the differing influences are reflective of the growth and progression RIO has made with his musical abilities and the evolution of his sound.