Prime Cuts: See the Light, I just need u, It's you
Overall Grade: 4.25/5
"Edge of My Seat" may be the title of one of the songs on TobyMac's new album, it's also descriptive of one's experience while listening to these songs. No, it's not because TobyMac reinvents the wheel and puts novelty back in well-worn themes. But the inherent excitement of these songs come from the piquant observations TobyMac incorporates into the songs. These songs show depth and gravitas, elements (pardon for the pun) often missing in many CCM records today. Maybe it's because TobyMac has already been making music since 1987, there's a seasoned wisdom and maturity that this 53 year-old singer-songwriter invests in his lyrics. Such a quality by itself is worth the price of this download.
"The Elements" is TobyMac's first album in three years, and the wait is definitely worth it. While many a lesser artist would often be sidelined by the blessed life, this is not so with TobyMac. As a seasoned Christian, TobyMac knows how slippery the temptations of Satan can be. Thus, the title cut "The Element" is a much needed prayer to open our eyes to see the subtlety of Satan's lies. Current single "Scars" is quipped with a treasury of quoted lines. Lines so rich with Biblical truths that a preacher could spin a sermon out of these quotable quotes. Here's a couple of favorites: "The only road to found is lost " and "passion never counts the cost."
"See the Light" is another must-hear. Like a letter from a wise father to a depressed son, "See the Light" is measuredly thoughtful flourished with great Biblical insights. Lead single "I just need u" is the album's attention grabber. Loosely based on Psalm 23, the fresh metallic beats of "I just need u" makes this a brilliant attempt of showcasing the Shepherd in 21st century New York garb. "It's You" is a worship song done the TobyMac way awash with big electronic beats and echoes.
Not too long Newsboys had one of those time travel songs ("Dear Younger Me"), TobyMac follows suit with "Hello Future." While Newsboys' time travel was creative and enriching, TobyMac's time machine travel is far too uneventful. "Overflow" has a electronic quasi-reggae feel that is quite fetching while "Everything" is predictable. Though this album is by no means perfect, but for its spiritually matured outlook and nuances, this is a record definitely worth checking out.