"'ATLast' is about Alex Faith's arrival to a place we all have to come to, where Jesus is better than all the other influences warring for our attention, our allegiance and our affections. "ATLast" embraces the southern, urban sounds that Alex grew up around and uses them to transform that culture that raised him. Embracing where he came from and loving everything that made him, 'ATLast' does not neglect the urban south, but rather seeks to redeem those things for Jesus. With previous mixtapes such as 'Honest to God,' Alex has formed a reputation of being candidly honest and authentic, and 'ATLast' continues that practice. 'We were created for more,' Alex says. 'Everyone goes through life trying to get somewhere. This destination...we all have to arrive at is always and ultimately going to be at the feet of Jesus.'
'I arrived at the conclusion that Jesus is better. There was a war going on for my
affections and Jesus won out.'"
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City of Nightmares (feat. Tragic Hero)
Light Up (feat. Trip Lee)
Hold Me Down (feat. Christon Gray)
Refuge (Interlude) by Odd Thomas
Bloodlines (feat. J.R.)
Letting Me Go
Runaway (feat. Andy Mineo)
Pull Up (feat. Tedashii & Corey Paul)
Never Giving Up (feat. Social Club)
Refuge (feat. Dre Murray & J. Givens)
ATLast (feat. Christon Gray)
The Morning (feat. Wes Pendleton) - A Digital only Bonus Track
Everywhere (Remix) - A CD only Bonus Track
Everywhere (Remix) - A CD only Bonus Track
Honest 2 God (42*North Remix)- A CD only Bonus Track
Honest 2 God (42*North Remix)- A CD only Bonus Track
Varied Styles, Consistent Message| Posted November 01, 2013
Following on the heels of the mixtape released in 2012, Alex Faith is back with ATLast. The album brings together a stunning group of features, hard hitting beats, real life lyrics and a clear message of the redemptive power of faith in Christ.
The album opens with "ATFirst." A smooth piano intro leads to big drop, the bass hits hard and smooth. At first listen, Alex Faith's voice sounds very similar to Andy Mineo. Though the voice is similar, the style is different, so there is no misconstruing that he is trying to play off Mineo's fame.
"City of Nightmares" is about growing up in a rough city and juxtaposing that to Heaven and the future held in Christ. Alex's flow is incredibly smooth, and the addition of Tragic Hero on the track adds just the right touch of roughness. The song sounds like it could be from a horror movie, like something is sneaking up behind you.
The clear message of life in Christ continues with "Light Up." The song features the unique sound of Trip Lee which plays nicely off of Alex's smooth flow. The bass hits crazy hard in true dirty south style. The song is about being a light in this dark world, something as Christians we profess to do but at times fall short of how much light we could give off.
Collision Records labelmate Christon Gray features on three songs on this album. The first is "ATFirst", the second "Hold Me Down" and the third "ATLast." The album slows down with "Hold Me Down," but not in a negative way. The song speaks of a man asking his wife to stay close and support him. It is a heartfelt song; a place many couples get to as one is trying to start something new. In "ATLast," the verses walk through challenges of life in a rough neighborhood, to the challenges of life when our focus is on pursuits of worldly success. At last, the only thing left is Christ. Within these three track, Christon Gray proves once again why he is being featured on so many albums lately. His vocals add new depth to an already in-depth album.
As the album slows down with "Hold Me Down," it is followed by "Refuge (Interlude)." This is a spoken word piece by Odd Thomas from Humble Beast Records and Beautiful Eulogy. The piece is about the requirement for us to support people with more than empty words. It is an exhortation to the church that God's Word is our only refuge and comfort.
If three features with Christon Gray wasn't enough, J.R.'s distinctive vocals are featured on "Bloodlines." His ominous vocals draw us into the song while Alex delivers a message about about where we are from and where we are going: "My life will show them / Your words will free them / To see what, what I believe." We are born with a natural bloodline to our family, but once we are Christians we have a new bloodline with Jesus Christ.
I mentioned earlier how much Alex Faith sounds like Andy Mineo. On "Runaway" we get to really hear it. The vocal tone is similar, but styles are completely different. There is a smooth gospel flow to the song. They deliver a message about the choice that we have to either face our fears or run away from the plans God has for us. I was reminded of Jeremiah 29:11 that tells us "'ForI know the plans I have for you' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.'"
The next two tracks, "Pull Up" and "Never Giving Up," go off hard with features by Tedashii, Cory Paul and Social Club. The beats punch you in the chest and the message hits equally hard. This is a nice section to the album that then leads into the extremely thought-provoking "Refuge," which features Dre Murray and JGivens. This piano-driven track will make you sit back and pay attention. The third verse is by far the best verse on the entire album with innovative references to pop culture and incredibly smooth flow. The song would be best described as a cypher. There is no chorus or hook to speak of, just lyrical athleticism from the three artists.
Closing Thoughts: I was thoroughly impressed by this album. It is varied in styles but consistent in message. It features so many of today's top Christian Hip Hop names, yet Alex's own style is not overshadowed. From hard hitting bass, to smooth gospel, to piano driven, thought provoking songs, this album is complete in every sense of the word. It may not get the press coverage of the other albums being released in the same week, but it is more than worth the price of admission.
Song to Download Now: "Bloodlines (featuring J.R.)"
For the quality of artist that Alex Faith is, he is still relatively unknown in the music scene. Let me clarify. In Christian Hip Hop, he is well known and enjoyed by many who are involved in the genre. But to those who aren’t frequent listeners of CHH or don’t listen to it at all, he is relatively unknown.
Alex Faith first entered the scene several years ago with an appearance on Sho Baraka’s mixtape Barakology. Last year Alex signed to Collision Records and put out a mixtape Honest 2 God. Already this year, he has been a part of the Collision Records collective album WLAK. ATLast will be Alex’s first solo album as an artist. So far in 2013, Collision Records has had a very successful year with the success of WLAK and Dre Murray’s album Gold Rush: Maybe One Day. That being said, does ATLast build on that success or does it fall short of the bar set by Collision Records this year. Let’s see where ATLast falls as Alex’s debut album releases.
If we have learned anything from the two Collision albums this year, it is that the production is top of the game. This trend proves to be no different on ATLast. There is a wide variety of producers which equates to a variety of sound throughout the album. But it isn’t too different that it sounds crazy. The beats flow well from song to song while still changing things up for the better. Label mates Wit and Swoope produce a good portion of the songs on the album as expected. Other producers include Cardec Drums, J.R., Dirty Rice, and Wes Pendleton which guarantees some solid production on the album. I believe production is not the most important part of the album, but it can take a lot away from the feel of the album. The production on ATLast is never lacking and adds to the quality of the album.
One thing that impressed me about Alex Faith throughout the album is his ability to share his story while including where he is at now. On songs like Bloodlines, Letting Me Go, and ATLast; Alex shares his past while showing how things are different. He stresses why he does it now, and that is for Jesus. As hinted in the album title, he definitely still puts on for Atlanta. But now it isn’t about being well known or running the city, but leading it towards God. The idea of ATLast is brought to a close in the song by the title track at the end of the album. He shares his story, the story of Jesus, and then the future. “Brought you this far, just a little while you’ll hear me say, I know it’s a struggle but I love you and you made it at last” shows what God will one day say to us. The concept is brought together nicely and makes the album complete.
Although the previous two are important, without the lyrics album would be useless. You can’t portray a message without saying the words. Again, Collision has built a reputation for being very lyrical. Faith definitely increases this reputation on the album. He starts the album on ATFirst with “Does anybody really care bout the things that Imma say? Yall don’t really want to hear about my problems anyway.” He then starts talking about Atlanta and some of the struggles growing up in City Of Nightmares (feat. Tragic Hero). “Chase big money, drive big cars, maybe in the gutter but I’m lookin at the stars. And I’m drinking in the vanity, boy it’s all that we know. I show you how to do this here, look at how hard we go.” Odd Thomas joins the album for Refuge (Interlude) where he talks about the importance of God’s Word and its ability to be our one true refuge. Bloodlines (feat. J.R.) and Letting Me Go are really where Alex Faith shares his testimony. “Started from the bottom that’s real life, I made it here that’s a real fight. Rise to the top and forget where I’m from nope never do that don’t feel right” and “Fast forward 5 years, Your boy married now. I love the Lord and I love my wife and He still shows me how, to serve Him well and tell the world around me all He’s done for me. The moment that I least deserved it He gave up His Son for me.” Refuge (feat. Dre Murray & JGivens) builds on the idea of Refuge (Interlude). They talk about their struggles growing up and the fact that God is the only true refuge in those situations.
Another thing about Alex Faith that is impressive is his level of transparency. Like a line off Letting Me Go which says, “My pastor so bold he came and told me to my face, that I was livin’ a double life and being a disgrace, to the Lord, and the church, and His Word, and the Spirit” and then on Runaway (feat. Andy Mineo) “It’s hard on us being gone for a minute, though we struggle now we see the blessing in it, lookin for it but I can’t see the finish, and everybody thinks that your boy stay winnin’.” It makes the album way more relatable if the artist shows that they aren’t perfect and face some of the same things we do.
The album ends with ATLast. This song brings the album to completion beautifully. It is my favorite song on the album. The 1st Verse describes a person struggling through life. In the 2nd verse, Alex shares his story and the greatest gift He has ever received – Jesus. In the 3rd Verse, he outlines what life looks like now and talks about the future with Jesus. All of this surrounds a very soothing hook from Christon Gray with words God will one day say to His beloved children. This song cannot be done justice by a few excerpts or my diagnosis. This is a song you need to listen to yourself and worship God for what He has done in your life.
I am admittedly a prisoner of the moment. But I have been listening to ATLast for several weeks and it hasn’t gotten old. In fact, it has been just as good if not better each listen. I honestly have no nitpicks at ATLast. The production, concept, lyrical content, and feature all met my expectations and then drastically exceeded them. Alex Faith shares his story and makes it about Jesus at the same time. When that is accomplished, it is a powerful thing. ATLast has had and will continue to have a LASTing impact in my life and I can almost guarantee it will in yours too, just as Alex Faith intended.
One of the Best Albums of 2013| Posted November 21, 2013
I became a fan of Alex Faith right out of the gate with his single "Video Games" in 2012. He followed that up with a Free Mixtape "Honest 2 God" which although extremely rough and gritty, it was in heavy rotation on my iPhone and in my car.
His southern sound and intelligent rhymes make for a completely unique and highly enjoyable listening experience. Alex has a lot to say and does a great job getting the message of his life out in his lyrics.
ATLast was highly anticipated. I couldn’t wait to hear it and had been listening to all the singles released and previewed on Rapzilla. Alex offered a 24 hour listening session on his website a few days before release and let me tell you, I couldn’t turn it off. The tracks are perfectly placed in an order that doesn’t allow you to skip any. Yes, I said it... There isn’t a bad or skippable song on this album. I couldn’t get enough and after the 24 hours was up, I waited eagerly to purchase the album and haven’t stopped since.
Surrounded by 2 great artists and albums in the week prior and week following (Beautiful Eulogy - Instruments of Mercy and Lecrae - Church Clothes 2) I really thought this album would get lost in the shuffle. Also going head to head on the same release date as Eminem MMLP2, The ATLast album did well on iTunes and I feel is the best and most underrated album of 2013. Worth every dollar and then some.