TobyMac - This Is Not A Test (Deluxe Edition)

Published Monday 12th October 2015
TobyMac - This Is Not A Test (Deluxe Edition)
TobyMac - This Is Not A Test (Deluxe Edition)

RATING 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 158958-23441
LABEL: Forefront

Reviewed by Tony Cummings

Once having reached the upper echelons of pop success the trick is to stay there. Pop history if full of acts who after battling their way to national or international success find that the public quickly moves on and relatively few acts can do what the onetime dc Talk man has done, continue to adapt his musical styling without alienating too many of his older followers. This, the latest in the line of CCM bestsellers and his sixth solo album, is up there with his best work with its intuitive blend of EDM and rock. There are plenty of bright spots: "Til The Day I Die" features a masterly rap from NF and some clever lyrics ("Blood, sweat, tears/It's a callin'/And if I can't walk, then I'm crawling"). The danceable "Feel It" shows that Toby still retains many of his funkster leanings while "Lights Shine Bright" offers a fake fade out and a surprise appearance from Tauren Wells of Royal Tailor. Another track destined for radio play is "Move (Keep Walkin')" with some deft guitar riffs and a gritty chorus insisting that listeners press on with their prayers when they don't seem to be getting answered. The track which will probably get the most interest from older listeners though is the infectious "Love Feels Like" which is a glorious reunion with Kevin Max and Michael Tate of you know who. As usual on a Toby production, there are a couple of slight misfires - the press conference interlude (featuring a cameo from Jamie Grace) will soon have purchases reaching for the skip button though on the plus side he's joined by his son TruDog on a track that is at least bearable. The Deluxe Edition of the album features an upbeat worship song from Ryan Stevens, "We Lift You Up", and mixmaster Soul Glow Activatur adding a lush post-chorus towards the end of the song and Garcia putting some new beats to the opener "Like A Match". Another demonstration that Mr McKeehan continues to be able to blend timeless spiritual messaging to pop culture immediacy.

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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