Tuesday, November 30, 2010

CD Review: Toby Mac - Tonight

A tribute to Toby Mac’s golden two decades
Artiste: Toby Mac
Album: Tonight
Genre: Christian Alternative Rock
Reviewer: John K. Abimanyi

The year was 1988; when a university-student trio in Washington DC formed a music outfit that saw a rare feat of having a black man singing lead vocals in a Hip-Hop/Rock band. The force behind that band, DC Talk, was Toby Mac. The band would go on to chart the way for the diversification of Christian Rock sound in the 1990s.

Then Toby Mac went solo and dispatched his musical versatility into producing other acts and singing through a widely ranging set of genres. Tonight, Toby’s latest album, stands as testimony of his musical greatness, proving that the man, now 46, has not lost any of the steam that made him a huge force in the 1990s.

It’s a collection of the compelling ballads that you have come to expect from the star, appealing to your auditory senses’ emotions in one mellow song and then thrusting you in the air with a freaky one next.

Tonight (the song), Hey Devil, and Show Stopper run in that Jesus Freak mood; loud, fast and freaky. On Tonight, he features Skillet’s John Cooper who comes in with his husky adlibs; and with that pushes the chorus’ voltage up a few volts.

The crane then lowers the emotional hook on City On Our Knees, Wondering, and Get Back Up. City On Our Knees reveals his mellow side in a rallying call for humanity to embrace redemption. One of the more compelling tracks, it mutes the guitars till the chorus when the equaliser comes alive like the rise of baking dough.

He then goes Reggae on Break Open the Sky that features Israel Houghton of the You Will Satisfy Me fame. He however falters on Funky Jesus Music that makes a flat tasting reminder of the Funky music days.

Tonight will not leave any fans disappointed; it may even win Toby a few new fans. It is albums like these, well into one’s career, that help define artists as true legends.

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