See Me Rise begins with a cymbal glittering into pounding yet serene percussion, repeating the lyric, Murder, often a jarring word yet Urban Lions pair the lyric with such hypnotizing horns that the listeners find themselves swaying to the beat. Bluesy guitar riffs sink into the reggae sound, constantly building and releasing tension with the root to fifth combination and sailing the audience into comfortable, watery abyss. The wavy sounds of the tenor and alto saxophone intermingle with soft strikes on the cymbals to form a poly-rhythm with the wooden block. The mix submerses the listener into an ocean of soulful and sexy sound, ringing with the silvery line of Rise up.
Phil Brady, lyricist and bassist, repeats One true murder, calling up the trite phrase of One true love in the audience’s mind and disclosing the dark and painful side of even the deepest love; the side many refuse to acknowledge. Brady eventually extends the titular lyric into See me rise from the ashes, later morphing into See me rise from the water. Each lyrical set depicts vastly different imagery while still conveying the same feeling of overcoming negativity, shifting from dry, black ash to wet, swaddling water – the origin of life.
The lyrical structure shows the circle of life, an everlasting dance between death (ash) and birth (water). The speaker does not blame the source of his heartache (No, no she’s not to blame), a refreshing turn away from many songs dealing with despair in love. Perhaps the heartbreak occurs as a result of the current culture in which we reside, everyone sharing the blame in some small part by participating in our civilization’s scrupulous view of romantic love. The thoughtful words summon everyone to rise up from the depths of possessive and negative emotion, bolstering the idea that humans can indeed master their wild lions of passion. One can decide to swim in the dark and blame others for their emotional anguish, or Rise Up.