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Christian Music - Reviews, News, Interviews

Soul Purpose

  • reviewed by Andree Farias Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2004 1 Jul
Soul Purpose
Sounds like … KJ-52's album from last fall, with an even stronger emphasis on hooks, if such a thing is possibleAt a glance … Soul Purpose is basically an extension of Pronounced Five-Two, which means it's large on catchiness but short on depthTrack ListingWWSP Radio (intro)Rocking the JamEyes Open WideBounce with MeWWSP Shout Outs (interlude)Something for YouGonna Be AlrightNo Stopping MeWWSP TestimonialsYou're the OneI Miss YouDo You Want to Go?Captain Crunkaliscious (interlude)It's Just YouOnly YouWWSP Signing Off (interlude)

Will the real KJ-52 please stand up?

Christian music's reigning white rapper never stops. Whether it's recording as KJ, with one-off rapcore group Peace of Mind, or now as part of the Soul Purpose project, one would think the emcee has energy and creativity to spare. That's debatable, as his latest collaboration with longtime producer Todd Collins seems more like a bouncy collection of Pronounced Five-Two b-sides and rejects than an exploration of untrodden rhythmic territories. Instead of KJ handling everything himself, Todd Collins comes from behind the soundboards and becomes the project's chief hook singer. This in a sense makes Collins a bigger creative force on the album than the mic-rocker, as Soul Purpose is more memorable for its indelibly catchy—albeit sometimes brainless—hooks, than for the youth-inspiring verses.

TC keeps things recognizable here, borrowing liberally from mainstream hits in exchange for familiarity. For example, "Eyes Wide Open" could be seen as his humble take on Snoop Dogg's "Beautiful," right down to the yodeled "yeah-eh-eh-eh." Other tracks seem to serve no purpose at all but to have fun, like "Rocking the Jam" and "Bounce With Me," two songs that are pointless, but impossible to get off your head. The remainder of the tracks are mostly hip-pop candy at their sweetest, with "Do You Want to Go?" and "Only You" being the only semi-serious selections.

If enjoyed in passing, Soul Purpose is poppy, contagious, and quite danceable, and it could very well be the hip-hop CD for your summer. It's when you sit down and listen to it in detail that you realize that there isn't nearly as much substance for the soul as you might be craving for.