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Album Review

LECRAE | ANOMALY | ALBUM REVIEW

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OUTSIDERS
This album starts out with a dark sort of sad underlying tone. The point of the song seems to be that Lecrae feels like an outsider to hip hop. He goes on to explain that he feels like an outsider within the church sometimes as well. He states that Jesus is what makes him free and alludes to the fact that his approval lies in Jesus and what the spirit tells him. This brings the track full circle with the hook when he says the he would rather be an outsider. The way that this song was done really sets the tone for the rest of the album and tells me that it’s going to be very lyric heavy and conceptual.WELCOME TO AMERICA
I love this beat and the captain’s voice in the beginning. I think this sound bite was taken live from the Lecrae’s plane trip to China a few months ago.  I love the concept of this song. He really dug into the roots of America and what it used to be and what it isn’t no. He is contrasting the few differences that exist between the two eras and its great and also educational. It’s easy to tell that Lecrae reads a lot and encourages his fans to read. I remember seeing something on his social media about a book report that people were doing. I’m also impressed and surprised at the beat selection for this track with the African sample and ethnic instruments that were used. I think that was really creative by the producer. The concepts that Lecrae is kicking on this track are dope! For example in the 3rd verse he takes the point of view of a Chinese immigrant. The way that this artist paints his picture is just uncanny. Lecrae seems to get better with each and every body of work. It’s almost scary if you really listen.

SAY I WON’T
This is a major banger of the project. I feel like this song could be played at the club and nobody would know the difference. I love the fact that it hits just as hard and it has a great message if you brother to listen. I also love the swag that Andy Mineo brings to each track. He always says the weirdest stuff on tracks. It’s easy to tell that he hangs out with the infamous Miami group “Social Club”. His verse had so many elements of so many different styles and makes for a great blend. The engineering in this song is also impeccable. The beat drops and the samples and everything. This song is a hit and I think it could have been the single over “Nuthin”. The hook is also intricately constructed to where people can enjoy the beat. There aren’t that many words and it just kind of allows people to vibe out. However, the few words that are there make you ask yourself questions. Lecrae’s verse goes in. And I normally try not to compare verses but I think Lecrae’s verse was better than Andy’s this time. But they were both excellent, really loved the swag on this track.

NUTHIN
This is the track that was the lead single off of the album. This track features a really fresh use of the old school drums and melody from the song “I Got 5 on it”. This song was originally used to promote the culture of marijuana use. However, I’m happy to see the music used to spread the message of rappers not saying anything in their music. I make songs like this all the time. I just don’t think that I have the following that Lecrae does. I love the challenge that Lecrae places on a lot of his secular rap friends in this song. I think that the question is who is listening to this music besides Christians? Is the secular world actually hearing this message? I think it’s partly our job to share this music with people. But they have to listen to the words to be able to ever get the message and keep all the work that was done in this song to be in vain. One concern that I had with the video version of this song was the fact that the video was backwards. Meaning the song was playing the right way, but the film was being played backwards. That just feels weird to me. I wonder if that was just Lecrae being creative or if that was a suggestion from someone else. Because it just doesn’t seem to fit. It just seems like some underlying things that just don’t fit together. And at first I didn’t really like that song. I think the song is a lot better without the video. I think that it takes away from the point of the song.

FEAR
This song has a great beat. The producer deserves major props for this track. I really like the drums during the verses. But I don’t really like the way the hook sounds and feels sound wise. I find the transition confusing. As far as Lecrae’s storytelling ability, it is displayed very well on this track. When you actually listen to the words he makes you visualize his life as a young person and you can really see some of the things that he was really into. But, overall I don’t really like this song. I feel like the vibe keeps switching up on me and I don’t like that. It sounds fine, but it’s just not my preference. One thing that I really liked about this song is the part where he says Jesus, Jesus, Jesus and proceeds to explain that he doesn’t care if he’s not supposed to say it that much and shouts out both of the types of listeners that he has. I really respect that and each time I’ve listened to the song a smile has come across my face because I felt like he was addressing one of my major concerns with that line. Lecrae has come back to being one of my major role models with this album. I know he’s in a tough spot with a lot of pressure on him. I realize what it takes to be an artist of that caliber. Anomaly is turning into a great album so far.

ANOMALY
I love the jazz feel that this music conveys. I love the old gospel feel that I get from this song. I like the way that the production is going and again we see the storytelling ability of this artist. He proceeds to ask questions and pokes holes in the mindset that hip hop has created for us as a culture. This isn’t my favorite sounding song on the album. But I think it really helps to tie the album together and helps you to understand exactly what you are supporting. This is really great work and the singer really did a great job as well with her part. I like that this song was rather short, it sort of gives you the point and moves on. I think that this was pretty effective.

TIMEPIECE

I absolutely love the hook on this track. It’s really blended well and the mixing is impeccable when you really listen to the album with headphones. I just love the way that this song flows. The message in this track is really easy to get if you listen. The story is told from another interesting perspective. I’ve noticed that Lecrae likes to rap from the perspective of an unsaved individual which I think is really powerful. I think it makes the music more relatable. Something special in this particular track he uses the song to make people think about the investments that people are making and reminds them that someone is always watching them.  I love the use of the jargon and the way that the hook sounds. I’ve actually been walking around singing this hook. I think that the point of the song was really effective. However, I’m just not sure if the secular people are actually listening to the music. I guess that remains to be seen..

DIRTY WATER

I don’t like this song. I think the beat is pretty cool and I like the concept is also pretty cool. So you would think that it would come out good. But if you’re paying per song for the album, I think that this one might be an ok one to skip. I just don’t like it. It has some interesting lines about slaves and stuff, but I just don’t have a preference for this song. I’m sort of surprised that he didn’t get Bizzle to feature on this song since he was just digging wells in Africa over the past few months. However, I noticed that he didn’t have really any rap features on this project except for Andy Mineo it seems like. I wonder why that was. He usually always does a few tracks with the 116 family.  Interesting….

WISH
I don’t like this song either. I think that the hook is really cool. But I don’t like any of Lecrae’s verses on this song. But the verse is really great. There’s nothing wrong with Lecrae’s verses on this song. I just find them kind of boring. Maybe, I don’t like the concept at all. I fell like it doesn’t really help anyone. At least it doesn’t really relate to me. But that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t relate to someone else. I could see this relating to someone that may be for from Christ at the moment. I don’t know. I just didn’t connect with this song really. I’m actually kind of glad it was relatively short. I also wanted to note the backwards sound within the beat. It’s probably nothing, but I’m always on the lookout for weird things like that within music. I don’t think that it was really completely necessary and didn’t really make the beat better. But that’s just an observation that I had while listening to the track. I just overall didn’t like this particular song.

RUNNERS
I thought that the intro was extremely funny. The first verse was really good. I liked the message and the way that it was presented. But I think that this song has elements on the whack-ness that Christian rap used to be known for. The only thing that is saving this song is Lecrae’s verses. But I think that the beat may be sub-par, which is causing the hook to be the way that it is. I think that the excerpts in the song are really funny, but real as well. I agree with the message of the song and everything. I just don’t like the way that the hook part came down.

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ALL I NEED IS YOU
This song is great! I love the sample. Women usually make for the best inspiration. I’ve seen pictures of Lecrae with his wife and it makes me happy.  This song is perfect, I wonder if she was pleased with this song when she heard it. I know that this song was the second single released by Lecrae before the album actually comes out. I love the singer at the end of the song as well. This song is a masterpiece and an anthem for every young married couple that are believers in my opinion. This was a really good song, one of the few on the back half of the cd in my opinion. I have nothing but good things to say about this song.

GIVE IN
This song has elements of rock and the female vocalist is also special. I really like the feeling of the song. I like that we finally got the worship of our creator and we finally finished with all of the complaining about our society. Because overall, that’s not something that any of us can change really. The word says that things will get worse before they get better in this world. So I don’t want people to think that it’s our job to fix it. It’s not going to be fixed, we just have to resist and not become what the world wants us to be and continue to let the Spirit continue to renew our minds. The female vocalist was really special on this song and it was a different type of song. This wasn’t hip hop, but it was still one of the better songs on the back half of the CD. I think that a lot of people will be into this song.

GOOD, BAD, UGLY
I love this song. The way that the music feels in this track is great. I love the storytelling in this track. I’m not sure if this is Lecrae’s story or if this happened to someone that he knows. But this track will tap into your emotions. I love the transparency is almost scary in this track. I actually stopped typing to listen to this song. I also love the auto-tune that was used on the female vocalist during the hook. This song is powerful. I have a feeling that people who are into lyrics will really be talking about this song. I even played it through twice. This was a very strong song. I feel like in our pain and weakness we are strong as ever. I love that Lecrae reminded me of this in the music. That really ministered to me for real. And normally I try not to get overly religious, but this song was really something special. I can really identify with it.

BROKEN

I love the way that this song feels as well. It feels triumphant and makes me feel like even in my weakness I’m powerful because I’m in the hands of the creator. I like the beat and the message in this song. Some of the lines are really cool if you can catch some of them on the first listen. I don’t like the hook in this song. I think that it sounds a little disorganized.  This track reminds me of how broken I am individually and I loved the line about being a broken instrument in the hands of the great musician. I feel like that all of the time. I think that this song really was from God and even though I don’t like every part of it. I feel like I’m being communicated with through this music. I think that if this song were performed in concert the reaction would be amazing. We seem to be getting more into the worship tracks.

MESSENGERS
The feature for this song was really cool and gave Lecrae’s album a completely different feel. The live instrument/band feel really was different. The way that the hook is constructed is pretty cool. I think that this song sounds like the KSBJ radio station that my parents listened to and I grew up hating. But I think that it is cool that Lecrae can do different styles of music even though I’m sure he doesn’t prefer it. This band is really good for people who like this sort of music, I personally don’t. But I can still appreciate good worship music when I hear it.

SUMMARY
Overall this album was an excellent work of art. I would give this album a 9/10. I was going to give it a score of 12 at first, but all of the songs that I didn’t like in the end were really dragging me. I think that the lack of features from 116 hurt this album. Everybody in the clique goes so hard, But this would have been songs that Lecrae wanted to do by himself. I don’t know, but I think there was room for those features especially on the songs that in my opinion weren’t as good. As far as supporting Lecrae and the label GO TO A CONCERT!!! I will be at the concert in Dallas in October. But I have also included the list of tour dates that the anomaly tour will be in at the bottom of this review. Come to a concert, the experience is amazing and the tickets are only $20.00. This album is great and I will definitely be in line to try to buy some merchandise. But it always costs so much for a struggling college student. IF you want to meet me personally I’ll be at the show in Dallas since I can’t make the concert in Houston. Definitely connect with me on twitter or via email with any questions or just to dialogue about the review or about God or whatever you want to talk about. I always love to talk to people of different backgrounds. These conversations help me as a writer, but also as an artist. I hope you enjoyed the review.

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