STYLE: Hip-Hop RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 47100-14500 LABEL: EMI 5099921380327 FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 2 RELEASE DATE: 2008-07-04 RRP: £13.00
Reviewed by Tony Cummings
The musical journey from popularisers of Christian rap to CCM's best selling pop rockers is of course well known. Now this budget price twofer gives us a chance to listen again to their debut 'dc Talk' (1989) and the follow up 'Nu Thang' (1990). It has to be said that their debut wasn't very good and sounds pretty cheesy by today's standards. Their first Christian radio hit "Heavenbound" is an uneasy alliance between a decidedly straight sounding sung part from Michael Tait interspersed with some simplistic rapping. "Gah Ta Be (Saved)" makes an effort at hip-hop traditional gospel fusion but compared with dc Talk's later efforts in that field on the 'Free At Last' album sounds pretty tame. As we know of course, the album sold well but that was largely because there was almost a complete absence of rap music in America's Christian bookshops. 'Nu Thang' is a much better album. It featured possibly the group's first outstanding track "I Luv Rap Music" which rather ironically had a bit of a dancehall reggae groove. The title track on 'Nu Thang' was a major US Christian radio hit and catchy enough for me to once record a cover version with two young hopefuls called and Daniel and Natasha Bedingfield (but that's another story). "Walls" was the band's first attempt to introduce rock elements and in retrospect was a harbinger to what was to become "Jesus Freak" while "Children Can't Live (Without It)" is a down-tempo anti-abortion song with a bit of disco in the backing track. All in all, a fascinating slice of musical history.
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