The Boy vs. The Cynic
- Wednesday, June 01, 2005
- Out of Control
- Chapter 1
- Follow Your Leader
- Sales Pitch
- So Glad
- What About Them
- There's Only Forgiveness
- All I Have
- The Boy vs. The Cynic
It's hard to believe rapper-turned-rocker John Reuben Zappin is already on his fourth album. Seems like just yesterday Gotee Records took a chance on the eager, wet-behind-the-ears 21-year-old from Columbus, Ohio. But that was 2000, and although he was implicitly marketed as the Christian alternative to popular white rapper Eminem—the Slim Shady had just hit the scene a year earlier—John Reuben has since done much more than just rap over other people's beats. He has turned to producing, scouting other talent for the label, and eventually making music that's more somber and meditative than the silly, self-absorbed anthems that characterized his earlier work.
Like with 2003's
With this in mind, it's quite easy to pick out which tracks on
Of the fun tracks, "So Glad" is perhaps the most pleasing, a P-funk cut with splashes of disco, featuring vocal support from Tim Skipper of House of Heroes. Another left turn is "Sunshine," a power pop tune that would sound equally comfortable on a Weezer album. Yet despite the levity of all of these, Reuben seems intent on communicating truth, even if in small doses. "Sunshine," in particular, exults perseverance and grace in the midst of difficulties, while "All I Have" warns that life is not to be lived based on expectations, but on reality.
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