Gotee Records

Release Date: October 23rd 2020

Reviewed by: Joshua Andre

RICHLIN– RICHLIN (Amazon mp3/iTunes)

Track Listing:

  1. Royal Blood
  2. Love Like Thunder (feat. Ryan Stevenson)
  3. You’re The Wine
  4. One & Only
  5. Love Like Thunder (feat. Abbie Simmons)
  6. Jesus, You’re The Wine
  7. Royal Blood (Spilled For Us)

This year of 2020 has been strange. We’re coming to the middle of November, and there essentially really isn’t much to report that has happened this year. Aside from a controversial win from Joe Biden in the US election, as well as the killing of George Floyd and the ongoing protests in support of Black Lives Matter; it is the pandemic of COVID-19 that has completely wrecked us all in many different ways. Yet aside from these three big events, nothing much has been happening (that’s probably not true- celebrities have tested positive for COVID-19, and some celebrities have died); and this is so because most of us are at home. Quarantining and in lockdown due to the virus; some of us have adapted well and others not so much. Yet what has got us through has been music. Music has comforted and music has given us hope and a reason to keep going. You can read all of our reviews on the home page– and you can see that especially during this time, artists have come in and touched our heart and our lives with their brilliant and relatable songs- artists like Little Mix, Jason Gray, Tenth Avenue North, Maddie & Tae, Cory Asbury, Chris Tomlin, Needtobreathe, Ava Max, Lindsay Ell, Guy Sebastian, Alicia Keys, Keith Urban, Josh Baldwin and Natalie Grant to name a few. Now here we are with another hopeful and impactful artist. RICHLIN, the latest signing to Gotee Records, has unveiled his 7 track self-titled debut project- and boy is it hopeful and overflowing with life and positivity. Though the songs are over in a flash, RICHLIN gives me hope and reassurance that in a world full of negativity and hurt and pain; that the light can and often does come shining through, and can be seen to us if we just open our eyes.

Lead single of RICHLIN is the opening track “Royal Blood” and the EP ender “Royal Blood (Spilled For Us)”. With both songs having exactly the same lyrics, but different instrumentation and hence a different musical atmosphere (“Royal Blood” is more upbeat and resounding and raucous, and “Royal Blood (Spilled For Us)” is reflective and acoustic); RICHLIN emphatically proclaims and vividly outlines the gospel, that Jesus’ blood was shed for us so that we all can be co-heirs with Christ. It’s a clever way bookending the EP with the same song sung differently, but it works here, as RICHLIN reminds us of our identity and the love The Almighty Father has for each of us. “Love Like Thunder” is another song that is recorded twice here, once with Ryan Stevenson on guest vocals and the other with Abbie Simmons from UPPERROOM- and each rendition is near-flawless and to perfection. I actually prefer the much more contemplative and worshipful version with Abbie; but the essence of both versions is the same, as RICHLIN prayerfully relays to us that Jesus’ love is like thunder, that His love stretches out far as you can imagine, just like how thunder travels during a storm. As Jesus’ love knows no boundaries and captures our heart and invades us all without any warning, we are reminded of the power of Jesus love and the length’s he would go just to bring us back to Himself. As RICHLIN sings in powerful harmony with Abbie and Ryan (on the two versions), we are glimpsed with one of the most heartfelt, inspiring and powerful melodies of the year. And as RICHLIN sings out ‘…Your love is like the thunder, shakin’ every heart, You’re the light that’s breakin’ through the dark, Your love is like the thunder, wakin’ every eye, You’re the hope that rips through the dead of night, we’re caught up in the wonder…’; I am more than impressed and amazed by this God-breathed melody, as God has given us all a new worship anthem to sing, which will continue to be sung for many years to come!

“You’re The Wine”, the reflective, hopeful and prayerful melody, has RICHLIN exclaiming that Jesus is the ‘wine’ for us, the Only One who gives the world meaning and gives our life purpose, while “Jesus, You’re The Wine” is a more acoustic version of “You’re The Wine”. Is that now 6 out of the 7 tracks here being 3 songs and their more acoustic counterparts? The EP then ends with the praise-worthy and engaging anthem “One And Only”, whereby RICHLIN emphatically relays to us that Jesus Christ is his One and his Only. A song of gratitude and thanks, “One And Only” reminds us that we ought to be worshipping only Jesus and serving only Jesus- because of everything He’s done for us- the cross and the grave included.

RICHLIN isn’t the most highly publicised artist that you’ll recognise. Will be become popular or at least known a bit more after this EP? Perhaps. However I reckon that while we are in lockdown and in quarantine, and are waiting for some semblance of normalcy, and while we’ve all got extra time on our hands, let us spin RICHLIN’s RICHLIN. You may find your next summer (or winter) jam, and for that this new artist should be very proud of himself!

3 songs to listen to: Royal Blood, Love Like Thunder, You’re The Wine

Score: 4/5

RIYL: Charlie Hall, Jars Of Clay, Ryan Stevenson, Crowder, TobyMac

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