STYLE: Hip-Hop RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 158476-28961 LABEL: The Fuel Music FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1
Reviewed by Ian Webber
I always associated Canada's Chris Greenwood, aka Manafest, with a brand of rough edged urban hip-hop that mixed grungy guitars with streetwise delivery of some edgy lyrics. This eighth release from the rapper is a much more polished, radio friendly offering being easily accessible and commercial. Opening with my favourite cut, the country influenced "Reborn" mixes the heavy with the quirky melody of some picked guitars. Joined by a whole range of collaborators, fellow countrymen TFK feature heavily and add some crisp vocals on a couple of tracks. Heavy phrases are heard in the pure rap of "Army" and "Stick To Your Guns," which also features Soul Activator from Family Force Five. This cut has a nice guitar-driven groove under an assertion to keep walking the walk. If you are looking for a guide to the style of the recording there are moments that are reminiscent of TobyMac. "Let You Drive" that has a catchy melody ripe for the radio, but features a vocal that does not quite match up to Manafest's on point rapping. This recording has so much going for it; crisp production, a pop savvy set of hooks and unapologetic, faith filled lyrics. In smoothing out the rough edges however, I feel that Manafest has diluted his arrow sharp, machine gun vocal delivery. It really is a mixed bag that includes some top notch chart ready music along with some more average tracks that will nevertheless be appreciated by many.
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