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Christian Music - Reviews, News, Interviews

Glory

  • reviewed by Andree Farias Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2006 1 Sep
  • COMMENTS
Glory
Sounds like … Eminem, John Reuben, Linkin Park, tobyMac and other influences that range between the realms of rap, pop and rockAt a glance … Manafest's sophomore album continues to establish him as one of the most promising new rap artists in Christian musicTrack Listing Don't Turn Away Bounce Runaway Impossible Dreams Impossible Retro Love Critics Where Are You Wanna Know You Droppin' Hammers Glory (You Are)

Barely a year after his BEC Recordings debut, rap-rock newcomer Manafest is back with the sequel, the impressive Glory. I remember chiding the guy for the silly looks in his album photography—it was a strange mixture of Fred Durst-styled posturing and feigned b-boy stances—but it turns out that's the emcee's true identity. He is not a hip-hop artist. Neither is he a rock vocalist. He just wants to straddle the continuum between the two, and Glory proves he can do both without stuttering.

When it comes to the hip-hop stuff, he just gets the West Coast/Detroit rap down to a science—"Droppin' Hammers," "Critics," and "Bounce" all boast the same thick hip-hop thud, but there's enough personality in every other bit of instrumentation to make them memorable. On the rap-rock side, the material is equally impressive—"Impossible" is a dead ringer for Linkin Park. Whether rap or rock, though, the production's so clean that Glory, at its very basic, is essentially a pop album.

Thematically, too, Manafest is a cut above its peers. A few tracks demonstrate his lightheartedness and sense of fun ("Bounce," "Retro Love"), but on the whole, the mic-rocker keeps a straight face, as when he opens up about his estranged father ("Where Are You"), unrequited affections ("Wanna Know You") and misguided choices ("Runaway").

Much more concise than its predecessor, Glory zooms by in under 40 minutes, but not one of them is wasted. Though prone to polarize fringe fans of either genre, the album otherwise manages to be a study on how to fuse rap and rock the right way. It even trumps recent offerings by tobyMac, KJ-52, and John Reuben—all practitioners who have a thing for rap-rock, but that don't do it as well. Highly recommended.

© Andree Farias, subject to licensing agreement with Christianity Today International. All rights reserved. Click for reprint information.


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