STYLE: Hip-Hop RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 8104-7856 LABEL: Forefront FFD3002 FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1
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Reviewed by Tony Cummings
If you're looking for something hardcore with which to dis the devil you'd better investigate SFC or PID, for dc Talk have now upped the vocal hooks and harmonies and are firmly in the pop gospel big league. They've done it superlatively and chief rapper Toby McKeehan and production maestro Mark Heimermann deliver an album with more hooks than a school cloakroom. From the opener "Love Is A Verb" with which the Washington trio have been gigging since their US tour with Michael W Smith to the closing reprise of "Jesus Is Just Alright" the gospel oldie metamorphasised into a riotously infectious romper, this is a glorious celebration of Jesus is Lord speaking in TODAY'S musical language. There are some neat twists in the lyrics, Toby coming on with a fast rappin' prologue to "That Kind Of Girl" contrasting the godly woman described in Proverbs 31 with the raunchy ladies on the scene today. Another standout is the slow funk groove "The Hard Way" where Smith laments his tendancy to be "the kind of guy who has to find out for himself" and learns "the hard way". Production and musical interjections throughout are superb. Grab those Boys To Men style harmonies from Michael Tait and Kevin Smith, enjoy the big choral support from choir with Veronica Petrucci (of Angelo And Veronica fame) coming on with some sanctified wailing. "I Don't Want It" is a particular standout with upfront lyrics. "I don't want it/your sex for now/I don't want it till we take the vows" goes the sung hook while the rap hits home - "S-E-X is a test when I'm pressed/so back off with no less of that zest/.safe is the way they say to play/then again safe ain't safe at all today/so just wait for the mate that's straight from God/don't have sex till ya tie the knot." There's an occasional slight lapse, reviving Bill Withers' "Lean On Me" was a mistake (never revive pop classics) but with 17 jams there's enough to convince all, CCM devotee and pagan pop picker, that Christian music has the chops and integrity to deliver.
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