Reviewed by Tony Cummings
As this review is published, America's Christian music industry is excitedly awaiting the next Billboard Hot 200 chart to see whether 'Eye On It' beats the new Slaughterhouse album to enter the mainstream chart at number one. Whether number one or two, what is already clear is that Toby's popularity since dc Talk went their separate ways in 2001 shows not the slightest sign of abating. What is also clear from this album is that most of Mr McKeehan's hip-hop leanings have disappeared (though rapper Lecrae does guest on the album's "Forgiveness") to make way for an electro-tinged set of positive pop songs, crammed full of fat synth parts and more hooks than an infant school cloakroom. The title track is a particular gem, a high energy, rave-tinged stadium rocker made for punching the air while the opener "Me Without You" is in the same mould as Owl City and equally catchy as Adam Young's best work. Another absolute standout is the fast-paced "Unstoppable" where Blanca Callahan from Group 1 Crew adds her soulful tones to produce a mesmerising duet. Lyrics make their spiritual points with precision with "Forgiveness" reminding us of the hard truth that, for believers, forgiveness is a necessity not an option ("But those who've been given much should be quicker to give it. . ./So when the stones fly and they're aimed at you/Just say, 'Forgive them Father, they know not what they do'"). There are a couple of misfires. We have the fifth instalment of the TruDog chronicles on "Mac Daddy" but with Toby's son no longer a little boy the cuteness factor is lost and TruDog's desire for an Apple Mac Book is irritating rather than appealing. Also, one play may suggest that 'Eye On It' contains too many slow songs (though after the creep-up-on-you appeal of "City On Our Knees" on Toby's 'Tonight' set it's possible that in time "Family" won't win me over too). Overall, I'm certain there are tracks here that will connect - musically and spiritually - with people wherever they are heard, and with radio stations around the world guaranteed to play 'Eye On It' that's a lot of people.
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