By Darryl Bryant
Sounds Like: TobyMac!
Top Songs: “I Just Need You” and “The Elements”
Most Singable: “Everything” and “The Horizon”
Strongest Biblical Content: “Scars”
The Whole Package: “I Just Need You” and “Starts with Me” with Aaron Cole”
TobyMac with over six solo studio recordings including the mega album This is not a Test, six Grammy Awards under his belt and a legacy with DC Talk have established himself as an icon in Christian Music from rap to worship his versatility and collaborations with Danny Gokey, Mandisa, Ryan Stevenson are still setting high standards of how both live music and the business get done. With the album The Elements, TobyMac proclaims through the music, his arrangements and the direction that he is not following trends. TobyMac vacillates between bringing the big sound and minimalist backed rap and lyrical melodies that are interesting and provoking. The Elements infuse electronic and acoustic instruments in creative ways that bring about an irresistible charm while delivering hope on issues from fatherhood to our neighborhoods. The Elements, musically and sonically as a project are a collective something deeper that goes beyond finesse and releases an amplified clarity of voice and purpose.
It is as though TobyMac is not as much trying to appeal to a fan base but something much larger – perhaps an authentic profound wake up call with the clock ticking. “Everything” has a lush use of vocals that is smooth as silk and accented with faint muted electric guitars that add rhythm grooves that break from the formula. The introduction of “Start With Me” is catchy and lyrically profound, radio ready and crossover destined. “Horizon” is a lighter fare and eclectically arranged to bring energy and fun. A favorite, “Hello Future” takes rhythmic liberties and pumps up the bass with blues sensibilities and sonic dexterities that are fresh and engaging but never abandons those that have come along with him for the ride.
The listening experience with TobyMac conjures up thoughts of action. Every song is asking the listener to do something. “The Horizon” is a call to action for us all, as well as “Edge of my Seat”. What this project lacks in edge, it makes up in infectious listenability. At the end of the day this project has something to say. Take a listen and know that The Elements is asking you to do more than listen to this five star project – Tell somebody!
TobyMac | The Elements
Capital CMG Label Group
Former General Manager of the Santa Fe Screenwriting Conference, MFA in Creative Writing, PhD student at Grand Canyon University.
Darryl has been exposed to all genres of music having grown up in a musical family and touring the country. He studied sound engineering with Stephen English at Sound Factory recording studio, and has worked with Leon Patillo, Randy Stonehill, Michael Card, Roby Duke, and Kathy Tracolli.