STYLE: Hip-Hop RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 31775-14011 LABEL: Cross Movement 881413003129 FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1 RELEASE DATE: 2008-01-11 RRP: £4.99
Reviewed by Steve Hayes
Other reviewers of this album have made comparisons with John Legend, Lupe Fiasco, NERD and Outkast. It is easy to see why, although it must be said that JR's soulful R&B style is unique and stands strong in its own right. "Rock Star" brings a slight Outkast vibe over a pulsating bass and guitar, challenging the rock star lifestyle, "What you got don't make you you/It's not what you have but what you invest your life into." The seeming Outkast influence and beat continue on into the excellent "Not A Slave" in which J.R. testifies to how Christ has set him free, saved and changed him forever. In "Tonight" we find soulful vibes over grooves, with a similar theme in the lounge jazz filled "Soulful". There are a number of other influences throughout the album with Da' T.R.U.T.H. guesting on "Ridaz" and rapping over a crunk roller to bring a Cross Movement hip-hop flava. J.R. continues to sing Christ-filled hooks and R&B ("OK"). Other tracks demonstrate a more crunk'n'b beat and vibe ("Trust In You", "You Chose Me"). "We Need You" is a real builder and breaks into an incredible worship (with an anthemic, even Coldplay influence). In the final two tracks, J.R. breaks it down into deep and soulful melodies, especially in "Words Of Life". The beautiful "Never Lose" sees JR testify how Jesus washed his sins away. Beautiful album, beautiful music.
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J.R. presents the antithesis of an infamous
heavy metal album of similar moniker,
Death By Stereo, with Life By Stereo,
signifying God’s use of music as a medium
to communicate life rather than death.
Life By Stereo centres on the human existence,
its trials and the healing balm of the gospel message.
Building on the foundation of his debut
album Metamorphosis, J.R. has himself
undergone a transformation, indicating his
thought-provoking study of God’s word. His
eclectic soulful style will appeal to both
urban and contemporary Christian music
J.R., the familiar R&P voice behind many of
Cross Movement Records’ memorable hooks,
is a versatile crooner and multi-talented
producer with unmistakeable style.
Life By Stereo is a conduit of God’s
messages on living - how to live, cope in
and celebrate... life. An instant classic,
this project has the rare quality of being
musically relevant and yet timeless.