GalleryCat - It Won't Be Long

Published Friday 14th April 2017
GalleryCat - It Won't Be Long
GalleryCat - It Won't Be Long

STYLE: Hip-Hop
RATING 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 163159-24429
LABEL: Independent
FORMAT: Digital Only Album

This product is currently not available from Cross Rhythms Direct

Reviewed by John Cheek

There is the argument that goes that back in the day, when it comes to rock 'n' roll, the white man stole the black guys' music. I sometimes think the same thing happened with Rap/Hip-Hop: look at how Eminen commercially cleaned-up with a one-trick pony around obsessing with his true identity. Marshall Mathers? The Real Slim Shady? Such cynical shenanigans cannot be levelled at GalleryCat and the man behind the name, Angelo Gonzalez. For this street, authentic, performer symbolises how so much American music, from Christian roots, today has a background - not in gospel choirs, so much - as coming from missions to gang members and skate-parks. This album is certainly born out of trying to relate to ordinary kids, rather than attempting to replicate R&B clichés, or ape gangster-rap chillin'-wiv-ma-bitches sentiments. Opening intro "I Know" sees the singer briefly packing his bags and looking for something different - a sort of "A Sort Of Homecoming" with Hip-Hop sensibility. Almost immediately, great vulnerability is apparent, rather than the usual, swaggering brashness associated with the genre. "The Past Few Years" is an honest look at Christian living, with lots of yearning for real spirituality, as "praise isn't enough". Truthfulness runs through all the lyrical concerns here, and with "It All Came Down", a gently-visceral sonic piece, the finger is pointing back at us, as often it all comes down to me. My rights, my time, my life. "My destiny is death/Because I denied the one who saved me". Elsewhere, "Talked To Me" sounds like The Avalanches on wig-out mode; "Greedy Grove" features a female vocalist reminiscent of Lindy Layton - remember her? Dub be good to me. "In God We Trust" ploughs the same lyrical furrow as Larry Norman, although vastly different, musically - a deep dish mix of beats and ethereal soundscapes accompanying a righteous, prophetic rage of a rap. Closing track "It Won't Be Long", with acoustic guitar, takes things into Blues-territory, suggesting GalleryCat are not just capable of cross-over. This is pioneering hip-hop, going into other-worldly terrain but simultaneously taking it back to the roots and all the while offering Christian alternatives to modern-day dilemmas.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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