STYLE: Pop RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 86784-16141 LABEL: Forefront 5099922637123 FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1 RELEASE DATE: 2010-02-28 RRP: £4.99
Reviewed by Tony Cummings
More or less a direct sequel to 'Portable Sounds', this demonstrates that the one-time dc Talk man has found the perfect rock/pop/R&B/hip-hop hybrid with which to communicate spiritual truth yet exudes youth culture radio-friendly accessibility. The driving and eminently catchy title track opener, featuring guest John Cooper from Skillet, is a great vocal pairing while "ShowStopper" demonstrates again Toby's love of old school funk. In a disgustingly biased review of this album recently in the Washington Post, reviewer Allison Stewart reluctantly admitted that "Toby Mac is a gifted melodicist - there may be no contemporary Christian rocker better at writing hooks". And that's the truth. Toby's ability to create tuneful lines which naggingly stay in the mind is exemplary while his lyric writing goes for the spiritual jugular with incisive wit. That's my view anyway (Ms Stewart found the words on "ShowStopper" - "You came to ride the highs of this junk/Baby, we came to guarantee the big krunk" - "wince-inducing"). One of the album's many highlights is "Hey Devil" which sees the ever-eclectic Toby moving into a previously unexplored music form: '80s alt-pop. The rhythm is hypnotic while the lyric cleverly portrays our struggles with Satan's temptations ("Shuffled down the boulevard/Cut me like a deck of cards/I thought you had me/You thought that you had me/But hey Devil, go on, get your junk outta here, I don't need you"). There plenty of other delights here, choppy funk rock on "Changed Forever", an engaging go at reggae on "Break Open The Sky" (which includes an appearance from award-wining worship man Israel Houghton) while "Wonderin'" is a delightful mix of charming piano-based beats by Relient K's Matt Theissen with Toby's raps. There are one or two miss hits. On the song "Loud'n'Clear" TruDog (the alter ego of Toby's oldest son Truett) makes another appearance on a Toby Mac album making for the weakest track. But there's so much here which plays to the singer/rapper/producer's strengths that you can easily forgive this weak point.
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tobyMac’s new record Tonight is the highly anticipated follow up to the best-selling album Portable Sounds. Continuing Toby’s unique ability to blend musical influences Tonight has an amazing mix of rock, pop, urban and hip hop sounds and styles. It features the smash hit City On Our Knees.
"City On Our Knees is really about a moment," says Toby. "A moment that we all come together to a place where there’s no judgment, but really love. And we choose to recognise one God together. And it’s really a reminder that that moment could be right now, tonight. And in that moment judgment falls by the wayside, we choose to step across the line, whatever side we’re on. Love fills in the cracks and makes up the difference."