- reviewed by Andree Farias Copyright Christianity Today International
- 2005 1 Oct
- Finland Intro
- Put Up or Shut Up
- Money Song
- Dance Like
- Funky Music
- Hold On
- C'est La Vie
- Grand Piano
- Pops Song
- Less Than Zero
- Don't Call Me
What most people don't know about L.A. Symphony's proper 2003 debut,
To remedy this, the quintet decided to officially sign with Gotee for work on their next album,
It's no surprise then that the new album sounds the way it does. Long regarded as party rappers, L.A. Symphony has sensibly decided to put—to an extent—its silly ways aside and express these turbulent times through a clearly spiritual lens. They've never shied away from talking about their faith, but it was usually relegated to each member's solo material instead of their combined efforts as L.A. Symphony. Their faith was always implied rather than explicit, but this time it comes across loud and clear.
Opener "Timeless" sets the tone about this newfound purpose: "I'm trying to make it in a world full of apathy/Asking God what else does he have for me/I'm timeless, I'm a beautiful mess/Through the joy, through the pain, through the worst, the best/I'm timeless." Praise in the middle of circumstances is the theme of the brooding "Hold On," which plods along with a peculiar piano line. The cathartic "Rise" is likely the most biographical piece the group has ever written, a chilling, introspective anthem in which they share their recent struggles: "Who would've known that the five alone/Could've toured and survived off the vibe alone/In survival mode, they kept holding on/In this Babylon they kept growing strong … and now they rise up." In a moving, candid tribute to their fathers, the group gets really personal about their upbringing in the thoughtful "Pops Song," a poignant number that even a non-rap fan could appreciate.
But there's also room for lightheartedness. An L.A Symphony record would be incomplete without a song about money (or lack thereof!), and "Money Song" fits the bill nicely. The FLYNN-produced "Funky Music" is their most irresistible banger in years, and it's also delightfully abstract. The breezy "C'est La Vie," about life on the road, finds the group at its poppiest, delivering a Latinized soundtrack with an inerrant rhythm and acoustic adornments.
Like the never-released 2001 project
All of the above make