TobyMac returns to the scene on August 28 with his highly anticipated new album Eye On It, featuring the hit single "Me Without You." One of Christian music's best selling artists, TobyMac continues to successfully combine elements of rock, pop, and hip hop. His music reflects real life struggles, his faith and passionately pursuing God in a crazy world. His previous album, Tonight, featured 4 Top 10 hit singles including "City On Our Knees," "Tonight," and "Get Back Up."
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Another Successful Reinvention| Posted August 16, 2012
It’s near impossible to pinpoint one achievement CCM legend tobyMac HASN’T accomplished in his career. GRAMMYs, Dove Awards, multi-platinum sales, books, magazine spreads, TV appearances, movies, even his own record label. You name it, Toby McKeehan has probably been there, done that, and bought the T-shirt. Crazy to think this whole journey started with humble beginnings in a dorm room at Liberty University with dcTalk almost 25 years ago.
Having made a name for himself as a solo artist over the course of the ever changing music scene, Toby has been able to successfully do what few have: reinvent himself time and time again without missing a beat. From the thick hip-hop rhythms on 2001s Momentum, to the pop friendly stylings found with 2010’s Tonight, it almost seems as if he can do no wrong. Needless to say, when tobyMac announces he’s working on a new project, the industry pays attention, as do his faithful legion of diehard fans.
Coming just two years after his last release--a miracle for his notoriously long recording standards--2012’s Eye On It has taken shape not only as one of Toby’s most musically whimsical projects, but one of his most passionate.
“‘Eye on it’ is simply a phrase used to mean ‘stay focused on what really matters,’” he explains. “My relationship with Christ and the calling He has placed on my life is what matters to me and what I’m trying to keep my eye on.”
Melodic pop smash “Me Without You” starts the project on an infectiously catchy note, and keeps the same fun yet chill pace through the next track, “Steal My Show.” The song is an invitation to the Creator to come and interrupt our lives, ultimately allowing Him have His way in us.
Picking up the pace, the title track “Eye On It” serves as the most rambunctious song on the record, and one of his best to date. Taking the album’s main theme of keeping our eyes on the prize, it’s nearly impossible to keep your feet from moving, and chances are you’ll be singing along with the contagious chorus after only a few seconds.
“Forgiveness” takes us back to Toby’s hip-hop roots, and features a great appearance by acclaimed rapper, Lecrae. The tune talks about man’s struggle with guilt, but shares that even when we throw stones at ourselves for bad choices, God’s forgiveness still rings true. It‘s a message every listener will be able to relate to.
“Speak Life” again showcases a fresh melodic pop sound, while lyrically, is taken straight from the Bible, reminding us how powerful our words are and how we should chose to speak life even into deadest of situations: “Lift your head a little higher / Spread your love like fire / Hope will fall like rain when you speak life with the words you say.”
Again delving into the waters of the chaotic, “UnStoppable”--featuring guest vocals from Blanca Callahan of Group 1 Crew--serves as an anthem that boldly declares we will go against the flow of this world. The musically on-par “Lose Myself” opens with a beautiful piano piece, but picks up speed along the way, becoming a progressive moment of total surrender to God.
“Family” is one of the deepest on this project, both musically and lyrically. It tells the story of a couple ready to throw in the towel on their marriage, only to come to the conclusion that while it won’t be easy, their family is worth fighting for: “So are we still trying or simply surviving? / Facing these giants / The bigger they are, the harder they fall / But I still believe in the dreams we’ve been dreaming / The hope that we’ve built on is never too far, it's never too far.”
The next two tracks serve as mini autobiographies. The groove driven “Thankful For You” written to thank his lifelong supporters for believing he could make music that could impact the kingdom, while “Made For Me” is a fun song written for his wife, Amanda. Recounting their love story, it playfully shares their differences, and how they cause them to love each other, brilliantly coining the word for their five half American, half Jamaican children--“Jamericans.”
The big surprise for longtime tobyMac fans will be “Mac Daddy (Tru’s Reality).” Though it’s only been a little while since we last heard from him, teenage truDog now almost mimes his father vocally. The quirky dubstep song humorously tells of Tru’s desperate need for cash to buy a MacBook. While it pulls on the sentimental heartstrings of fans to hear him so grown up, there’s no question it’s their best--and goofiest--father/son duet yet.
The album comes to end with the 1940s romp, “Favorite Song”, with reigning GMA New Artist of the Year, and Toby’s musical protégé, Jamie Grace, assisting on vocal duties. The lyrics liken our life to a musical composition, us singing our own melody before joining the harmonious family of God. It’s one of the best closing tracks I’ve heard on album in a while, taking you out on a cheerful and encouraging note.
tobyMac has reinvented himself yet again. Fun and chock full of deep spiritual moments, Eye On It once again proves why he is a force to be reckoned with in the music industry. While it might not break new ground, it establishes familiar ground in a fresh new way, and showcases a clearly evident musical maturity, this offering some of the best work melodically he’d ever done. Lyrically, the themes on this album dig a little deeper as well.
I would like to see him go back to his hip-hop roots a tad more with his next effort, seeing as it’s an aspect fans have grown to miss as he‘s pulled away from it more each album. Nevertheless, this is a masterful project and one that has been well worth the refreshingly short wait. This is without a doubt one of my top albums of the year and one of the “cant miss” CCM projects of 2012. Longtime fans won’t be disappointed, and those new to Toby’s music will be in for a treat. Take my word for it: this is one album you will definitely want to keep your eye on.
TobyMac was basically the guy that got me into Christian music. Yes, my first CD was Steven Curtis Chapman's Speechless, but I did not really have a passion for Christian music - or any music, for that matter - until I bought TobyMac's album Renovating Diverse City. That album is basically what got me into music. With that said, Eye On It is quite a disappointment. Yeah I know it hit number one on the Billboard Top 200, but it just does not appeal to me. It is not TobyMac. The TobyMac that I loved to listen to back in the day was more of what I would describe as a mixture between hip hop and rock and a bunch of other awesome stuff. Eye On It is pop, just like everything else playing on the mainstream radio today.
I gave "Me Without You" a very optimistic review when it was released as a single like a month or two ago, hoping the majority of the album would not be like it. I still believe it is a pretty good song, but when it is mixed in with so many other songs that have that same pop sound it gets really old, really fast. I do not mind pop music at all (just take a look at my review of Britt Nicole's latest album, Gold), but pop is not what Toby does best. Crunk rock hip hop is what he does best. I would love to see him go back to the days of Portable Sounds; that is what I view as his best work to date. His last album, Tonight, had some really good songs, but that was when he started going down the road of soft pop songs made for the radio. Writing this I feel like the guy who is completely against any change in an artist's sound and writes huge reviews on iTunes and Amazon about how horrible the album is because it does not sound like the stuff the the band has done in the past. But with TobyMac he has built his sound from his days with DC Talk, so for like the past 25 years he has made his sound better and better with each release and now he has decided to change it up and do what everyone else is doing. There are too many pop artists out there; he had something no one else had before he started making pop music, and with this release he threw that out the window.
So, with that said, there are still some very good songs on this album that I find some enjoyment in, with one of them being the title track. The song does not quite fit the mold of a typical pop song, but is more of a mix between pop and techno; so basically it has a pretty sweet beat. The first time I heard the song I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it and how much I got into it. The track is super catchy, and easily one of my favorites on the album. "Steal My Show" is a little slower than the rest of the album, but it feels way too soft for TobyMac. When I hear the song it just does not fit him at all; it definitely does not sound right to me. However, I really love the lyrics. The song basically has the same concept of Lecrae's "Background," since both of them talk about sitting back and letting God take over our lives and control what we do, which is something I have a feeling we could all work on.
"Forgiveness" has got to be my favorite track on the album. Lecrae seems to always do a fantastic job with almost any song he is on, and this track is no exception. I have to admit Toby did a pretty good job rapping on this track too, something it seems he has not done in a really long time. The next song with a guest artists, "Unstoppable" with Blanca from Group 1 Crew, is another pretty sweet song that picks the speed up a little bit. The song definitely sounds a little more like Group 1 Crew's dance, funk music, which Toby pulls off pretty well. Blanca's background vocals also add a lot to the song, so I definitely love that he got her sing on the track. The final song with guest vocals, also happens to be the final song of the album, "Favorite Song," with Jamie Grace. If you do not think TobyMac has gone soft, just listen to this song and you will change your mind. The beat is what you would expect from a feel-good pop song: very upbeat and happy sounding. So, even though I am not a huge fan of the song, Toby was very smart to put Grace on the song because even though the style does not really suit him, it is her forte. She rescues the song in my opinion.
My hopes for this album were that TobyMac would go back to his roots a little more and do stuff like Portable Sounds and Welcome To Diverse City, but alas he did not. This album is almost entirely pop music, which after awhile gets kind of old. I can understand him trying to appeal to the younger generation and trying to make more radio friendly songs, but I almost feel like he compromised way too much on this record. Tonight had a pretty good balance of his older style and his new pop style, and it did pretty well; so, I almost wish he had at least stuck to the balance he had on that record. I do not want to completely bash the Eye On It, because if you like pop music, then more than likely you are going to enjoy this record; but the sound just does not fit him at all. Maybe you will think I am just crazy, whining about the past and how he does not sound as good as he used to, but to me this album just does not show how great of an artist TobyMac truly is. Toby is one of the greats of Christian music, and I will continually support him, so it is with great sadness that I say this album is a disappointment to me.
Favorite Song: Forgiveness (Feat. Lecrae)
This review has been reprinted on NRT with permission from The Christian Music Review Blog. Click here to visit today!
Favorite Song| Posted February 21, 2014
'Eye On It' is once again a coloful tobyMac album. With it's good vocals and beats, this album has got a lot going for itself.
'Me Without You' is a perfect opening. It's got a great vibe, and wonderful lyrics.
Following the opening is 'Steal My Show'. The song is creatively arraned, and the message is about letting God control your life. Giving it up to him.
'Eye On It' is total epicness. It's such a great song of determination. Tobymac says that it's about being "Driven to pursue pationately a relationship with God", and boy, this song's got drive. Skipping to the 6th song on the album, "Unstopable" you'll find the same determination as 'Eye On It'. Featuring Blanca from Group1Crew, she adds her powerful vocals to top off this killer song.
'Lost Myself' seems to reflect Matthew 10:39. "Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it." It's such a great verse, and such a great song.
Going on to song 9, "Thankful for You" we are once again introduced to a catchy tune.
'Made For Me' is clever and 'Mac Daddy (Tru's Reality)' is humourous. Both song add a nice spin to the album.
The final song, and my personal favorite, is 'Favorite Song'. No joke, it is the best one on the album. Jamie Grace joins tobyMac for an amazing collaboartion full of coloful harmonies, encouragin lyrics, and great music. It's truely amazing.
'Eye On It' is a fantastic album. It's fresh, yet full of the classic tobyMac we know. You won't be disapointed!
I Love it!!!!| Posted October 21, 2013
This is a brilliant CD and I would encourage everyone to buy it! Especially if you like hip-hop/R n' B. It has some of the best tobyMac songs that he has done! It has some very touching songs on suprisingly like forgivness and family! A must for anyone who loves tobyMac and his style of music!!
Eye On It!| Posted August 01, 2013
This new album from Toby Mac Rocks!! My Favorite songs from this album are, Eye On It, Forgiveness, and Mac Daddy!! Toby Mac is very talented!! I had the opportunity to see these songs LIVE on the Eye on It Tour in Arlington!! EVERYONE needs to get this album!!! :D
Eye On It By tobyMac| Posted June 26, 2013
This is a real awesome album from tobyMac. I love it and I have listened to it a lot since I got the album. I would say the songs I listened to the most were Forgiveness with Lecrae, Unstoppable with Blanca from Group 1 Crew, Eye On It with Britt Nicole, Steal My Show, and Me Without You. But I loved all of the songs on this album. I also have to mention that Jamie Grace is also featured on Favorite Song. This is one of the best albums I have heard from tobyMac as it has a real awesome diversity in music. I also loved the featured artists which were Lecrae, Jamie Grace, Blanca from Group 1 Crew, and Britt Nicole. The featured artists on the tobyMac albums including this album make the album even better. If your a fan of tobyMac be sure to get this album and listen to it more than once you will love it as much as I do. If you love or like music from tobyMac be sure to get this album and add it to your collection of his albums. Be sure to get it as soon as you can and listen to it on repeat.
Eye on it| Posted April 28, 2013
First of all this is a must buy.Every song on this album is a repeater meaning that I can't stop listening to it over and over.Me without you is a song that says that no one can live without the help of God.Tobymac's words are very strong and applies to everyone.Steal my show means that instead of you taking everything into your own hands nothing will get done for the good.Instead you should allow God to take complete control an listen to Him everything will turn for the better.Eye on it means that keep your on the ultimate prize,heaven,and that when you put your eye on God you will most definitely gain eternal life with Him.Forgiveness means that no matter how many wrong things we have done or about to do,"No matter how lost you are your not that far yout not too far,No matter how hurt you are your not that far your not too far,No matter how wrong you are your not that far your not too far,and No matter who you are your not that far your not too far."God will always forgive us.Speak life means that you should witness to others about Christ rather than not.Unstoppable means that once you start to tell others about Him there's no stopping it.Lose myself means that you have to forget about yourself to fully follow God in everything you do.Anyway this is just a little bit of what the album has to offer.Check out one of Tobymac's greatest albums and I guarntee that his words will speak to you.
great cd| Posted April 12, 2013
I love this cd! My favorite song on it is "Forgiveness". Its a good reminder that God always forgives us no matter what! I also love "Eye On It"! I saw tobyMac sing it at Winter Jam :) Amaaazzzziiinnnggg!
Great!| Posted March 27, 2013
Of course, TobyMac has made another great album! A lot of the songs have inspiring messages, like Forgiveness, Steal my show, Lose myself, ect. But there is also the fun songs like Mac daddy, and made for me. I really enjoyed this album, but it didn't have as many upbeat, or hip-hop type songs like his previous albums. I was glad to see that TruDog was back, and personally my favorite on this album is Forgiveness. TobyMac has always been one of my 2 favorite artists ever, and this album holds that standard, I highly recommend it!
Good| Posted February 22, 2013
This is a really good album. Some of the songs are a bit more slow paced than others. It's a good album though. I love how tobyMac music style is so diverse and that he really adds a little bit of everything in there.