STYLE: Rock RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 1437-1846 LABEL: Forefront FFD5296 FORMAT: CD Mini-album ITEMS: 1 RELEASE DATE: 2001-05-04 RRP: £1.99
Reviewed by Mike Rimmer
So the sabbatical that was foretold with the 'Intermission' greatest hits package has spawned solo outings from dc Talk members who will release the fruits of their labours in the coming months. In the meantime this tantalising taster acts as a warm up and it's definitely whetting my appetite for more from Toby. Michael and Kevin. Democratically the EP opens with a live rendition of U2's"40" (what is it about U2 tracks at the moment? Circadian Rhythm just covered my fave U2 track "Gloria" on their debut). This gives each member of the band a turn at lead vocals and it's got rarity value for fans. Then Michael Tait unfurls his new band (simply called Tait and featuring pal Pete Stewart on guitar) and he's off. with the rock'n'pop "Alibi". Then there's his ballad "Carried Away" which has him getting a little soulful. All well and good but I have to confess that such perfect production and catchy songs are pretty commonplace in Nashville these days and it doesn't really grab me that much! The next two songs come from K.max and it's clear from the opening chords of "The Return Of The Singer" that Kevin Max has been having a creative beanfeast in the studio. Pushing things leftfield with a solid groove and some eastern melodies his unmistakable voice soars over the surging beats and it's a winner. His ballad "Be" has a message encouraging the listener to have confidence in who they are. It's the sort of song you could imagine Lenny Kravitz singing! Kevin's leftfield elements make his two tracks a compelling listening experience and I think the album is going to surprise a few people. The EP concludes with TobyMac's return to his hip-hop roots. The "Extreme Days" track is a rock'n'rap fusion which has already been on the movie soundtrack album of the same name. His other song "There In The Air" features a vocal hook from an old Motown one hit wonder Rockwell which will bring back memories for older music fans. It's a brilliant piece of work packed with vibe and a fitting conclusion to the hoers d'oevres on offer here. Can't wait for the three course meal of solo albums to arrive at the table.
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