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Reviews

TobyMac “Life After Death” Album Review

Life After Death

TobyMac

    • Genre: Christian
    • Date: 19 Aug, 2022
    • Content: Not-explicit
    • Region: USA
    • Track(s): 15
  • ForeFront Records; ℗ 2022 F.L. Inc., under exclusive license to Capitol CMG, Inc.

TobyMac’s new album, the appropriately named “Life After Death,” is his first long-form outing since that tragic event a few years ago, and it’s an equally well-crafted and heartbreaking take on the aftermath of events like this, particularly for those left behind. It is probably clear from the album title alone what many of the songs are about.

The first thing that jumps out about Life After Death is the sheer amount of collaborations on one album. TobyMac has always been a gleeful music community member, guesting on other artists’ albums and having all sorts of artists show up on his. But his latest album takes the guest star idea to the next level.

Perhaps a network of friends was required to create such a very intimate and challenging album. Additionally, because there are so many additional musicians present, the LP nearly has the air of a contemporary musical, with a central theme of both joy and grief present.

Album Cover Art

Tobymac &Quot;Life After Death&Quot; Album Review, Yours Truly, Reviews, December 1, 2022

On the simple album cover is written the album title in all-caps, with the artist’s name scribbled in a smaller font right underneath it. But notice something about the colours used in the designing of the words and how that of “Death” seems to be the odd one out, almost eaten up by the black colour, which further hints at the pain of loss that was conveyed through the project.

Tracks and Features

With the funky and expansive “Help Is On The Way (Maybe Midnight)” as the lead-off, the opening four tracks on Life After Death lean toward an old-school, 1970s soul music review. With the help of an amazing group of baritone backup singers, TobvMac demonstrates that he has never been better at writing songs with catchy radio hooks. The next song, “The Goodness (Featuring Blessings Offor),” is a soulful number that has the sense of a Sunday morning Gospel song that would get the congregation up and moving. With just those two songs, TobyMac has already displayed an uncanny ability to mix sounds while still sounding like himself. Soul singer Blessings Offor brings his magnetic presence to this tune.

One of TobyMac’s funniest pop tunes is definitely “Fires’s Burnin,” which features Cory Asbury. A song that injects some humour and levity into the album’s overall subject of tragic loss. Definitely repeatable. “Deeper (feat. Tauren Wells)” grooves with purpose, with TobyMac and Tauren Wells swapping vocals on a heartfelt song about growing in one’s faith.

The DC Talk reunion on “Space” makes you wonder why these guys ever parted ways. Another pop-centric song that shows the almost incomparable dynamic musical range of TobyMac. “I’m Sorry (a lament)” takes a page out of the Old Testament books of Nehemiah and Daniel as TobyMac offers less a song but more prayer in an apology to the Lord on behalf of America. A pretty powerful cut and brilliantly simple in its musical nature.

The haunting “21 Years” continues this melancholy side and features a number of heartbreaking lyrics that reference inside jokes between TobyMac and his departed son alongside a mournful keyboard sound. The female artists Marlee (Toby’s daughter) and Sarah Reeves add their prominent vocals to a few more songs that reference the sad passing of Mac’s son.

On “Show Up Choose Love,” featuring Jon Reddick, came bearing a great deal of soul tune vibes, with TobyMac leading the choir on a wonderful song about choosing to love your enemy in these troubled times we live in.

Tracklist

NO

TITLE

ARTIST

TIME

1 Help Is On The Way (Maybe Midnight) TobyMac 3:01
2 The Goodness TobyMac & Blessing Offor 3:45
3 Deeper TobyMac & Tauren Wells 3:14
4 Show Up Choose Love TobyMac & Jon Reddick 3:32
5 Promised Land TobyMac & Sheryl Crow 3:30
6 Everything About You TobyMac & Marlee 3:27
7 Life On It TobyMac & Sarah Reeves 3:39
8 Faithfully TobyMac 2:46
9 Cornerstone (feat. Zach Williams) TobyMac 3:39
10 Found TobyMac, Terrian & Wande 3:29
11 Fire’s Burnin’ TobyMac & Cory Asbury 3:04
12 Space TobyMac, DC Talk, Kevin Max & Michael Tait 3:04
13 21 Years TobyMac 4:03
14 I’m Sorry (a lament) TobyMac 4:23
15 Rest TobyMac, Terrian & Gabe Real 2:19

Album Theme

An amazing accomplishment that combined stellar music, exceptional lyrics and pain.

Production Credits

Producers that worked on the new album are Bryan Fowler, Dave Lubben, Jon Reddick, Kyle Williams, Micah Kuiper, Saint X, TobyMac & Tommee Profitt.

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