Sunday, 25 November 2012

God's Servant 'Simple Love' (album review)

My latest review is of God's Servant's 'Simple Love' album. It's a Lamp Mode release so you can be sure that there's plenty of theology, although not quite on the same level as Shai Linne, for example. In fact both style and content is pretty different; what God's Servant actually does really well is the application of real core truths.

This is an album, although not entirely to my usual tastes, that I'll definitely keep listening to. Check out my words over at Sphere of Hip Hop. Here's an excerpt about my favourite track on the album:

Not many albums these days truly contain original-sounding material, but this one does.

"'Oh the Deep' is the stand-out track on this album, perhaps simply because it’s like nothing I’ve heard in Hip Hop before. Kicking off with only a Eye of the Tiger-style monotone muted guitar rhythm and Lauren Monique singing “Oh The Deep, Deep Love Of Jesus” it’s clear that it’s something quite special. Then you realize it features Timothy Brindle and Shai Linne and you know nothing else on the record will top it. Taking a song from 1875 and making it relevant and dope in 2012 is a real skill – hats off."

...and here's the track and the Bandcamp link:

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Lecrae - 'Gravity' (album review)

Have just found this post half-finished and thought I should complete it and post it:

Check out my review of one of the year's biggest releases - Lecrae's Gravity. I wrote it for the Grace For Sinners blog (who I reviewed Timothy Brindle's 'The Restoration' for). I really enjoyed getting to grips with the theme of this concept album, and I hope that I understood it correctly. The 'gravity' illustration is one which holds up really well, and I've already found myself using it to aid explanation in a bible study!

"It is a hard hitting body of work, which, with the position Lecrae has found himself in, has the potential to truly reach those who do not yet know that they are a sinner in need of a Savior. It also will certainly edify the body as it contains many truths which we need to remind ourselves of daily. Sing with me now: “Lead me higher, lead me higher, and lift my eyes up… Oh lead me higher into Your fire, Burn away all other desires, and let my heart beat again”"

Zae Da Blacksmith and Arrested Development Album Reviews

Sphere of Hip Hop have a refreshed site and a couple of my recent reviews are up there now. The main one I'd like to highlight is Zae Da Blacksmith's 'The Mosaic Mixtape' (click for my review):

 "On his drop Mac The Doulos sums up this project well: ‘repping the game and repping His name, all at the same time’. Zae brings together true, pure Hip Hop with a timeless aesthetic with a real, no-nonsense witness to Christ. It’s clear that Zae really tries to practice what he preaches in His music; ‘The Holy Scriptures’ is about how the Bible can speak for itself (listen to that track for a great Spurgeon illustration involving a tiger) and throughout this project scriptures are referenced to the verse to back up Zae’s claims and statements."

I like an album that references Spurgeon and tigers. Two tracks that really stood out to me were 'Virtuous Sister' and 'Excellent Wife' - they really made me consider my wife and how amazing she is as both tracks Biblically explore womanhood.

The other review is of the veteran group Arrested Development's latest free download album 'Standing At The Crossroad' (click for the review). Theologically it's very hard to tell where they're at and the themes of the album are more moral and socially-driven than most of the albums I review for Sphere of Hip Hop.

I've just written a review of one of Lamp Mode's latest releases, 'Simple Love' by God's Servant, so look out for that one soon.