TobyMacís The Elements will release on Oct. 12 providing the first new collection of music from the chart-topping artist in three years. The Elements marks the 7X GRAMMY winnerís seventh album following the RIAA Gold Certification of his previous six solo albums. Billboard exclusively announced the 11 track album on their homepage.
TobyMac started crafting The Elements on the road, writing songs and bringing producers out on tour to collaborate. "The most important thing to me are the concepts, what am I saying to people," he shared with Billboard. "I've got to be going through some life myself and that's why it takes so long. I have to experience some things, struggle with some things, overcome some things and get in the trenches before I have enough to write about. That's why it takes me a few years because I want to write about what's really going on in my life. I find when you write about what's really happening in life it resonates more with people than fictional stuff."
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The Elements of a Great Album| Posted October 26, 2018
What You Need to Know:
On the Jesus Freak Cruise in 2017, TobyMac opened up about the season he went through after dcTalk announced their intermission. He wasn't sure if he was going to continue his career as a recording artist until he was approached to write the song "Extreme Days" for the movie with the same title. That song started the journey to the 2001 Momentum album.
Fast forward to 2018, and the Momentum album title has become prophetic. In the years since the album's release, TobyMac has been one of the biggest names in Christian Music. He has won numerous awards, and six of his studio albums have been RIAA gold certified. In October, TobyMac released his much-anticipated eigth studio album, The Elements.
What it Sounds Like:
While TobyMac has his own signature style, every TobyMac album has a fresh sound, and The Elements is no exception. In addition to the high-energy anthems you would expect, TobyMac has infused a blend of dance, soul, and hip-hop into this record.
The title track leads off the album with a strong rock/hip-hop hybrid anthem. The songs "I just need U.,""Everything," and "Edge of My Seat" are exactly what you would expect from a TobyMac album: high-energy dance grooves that get you on your feet and moving. Songs like "Scars," "Starts With Me," and "It's You" change it up with bit of soul over hip-hop beats.
I picked out two strong themes from this album - a deep reliance on God and overcoming the past for a strong future. Through several of the songs, TobyMac preaches that whether we're up or we're down, we need God. When we put our lives and our sitations in God's hands, everything falls in line; when we keep our eyes on God, we see Him in everything around us and life is brighter.
TobyMac also reminds us that no matter where we came from or what we've done, there's a better day on the horizon with Christ. You're not the only one who's been where you are. You are no more loved by God just because you have scars, because we all have scars. It's part of living.
Best Song on the Record:
I'm going off of the beaten path and choosing "Starts with Me" as the best song on the record. I'm loving the smooth groove and the collaboration with Aaron Cole, and the message of the song resonates with me. It doesn't matter how you were raised or what circumstances are around you, change starts from within you. Whether it's breaking a cycle of addiction or unhealthy family traditions, you hold the keys to setting yourself free.
This is another solid album from TobyMac. After eight studio albums, he is showing no signs of slowing down and is continuing to raise the bar for Christian music. His faith in God is on full display with this album and it's contagious.
The Elements Album Review From TobyMac| Posted November 03, 2018 I have to say I love this awesome new album called The Elements from TobyMac. I would say my four favorite songs on this album would be Everything, I Just Need U, Scars, and The Elements. It such a great diversity of diferent music genres on this album. But I do miss his rock songs like he did on his past studio albums like The Slam. Momentum, Yours, Ignition, and many more. I would highly recommend this album to any TobyMac fans out there. Be sure to get it as soon as you can. You won't be disappointed at all. I have to say end by saying TobyMac rocks and I love his music.
The Elements by TobyMac: A punchy album for those who like to groove| Posted October 27, 2018
I was never a TobyMac fan. Several years ago I bought the albums, "Tonight" and "Portable Sounds" but ended up not liking them much but from the first time I heard the track "I need you" from the new album, "The Elements," something clicked between me and that song that made me search for the other pre-album release tracks. I ended up buying the album and have been enjoying it since then. This may make me go back again to pick up the other album "This is not a test."
Mature, Transparent and Honest Release| Posted October 12, 2018 The Elements is Toby Mac’s seventh solo album and first since 2015’s excellent This is Not a Test. The album was preceded by the release of four songs, including the chart-topping “I Just Need U”.
This is a mature work dealing with many themes, including family, God being our only hope, seeing God in everything, race relations, new opportunities, new mercies, the church and encouragement. Most of the songs are upbeat musically, containing a good groove. It's one of the best albums of 2018.
Below are a few brief comments on each song:
The Elements – This song was written and produced by Tommee Profitt (NF) and Toby. This was the fourth song released prior to release of the album.
The song begins with Toby singing over keys. This world is trying to steal his heart and rip his family apart. Vocally and musically the song hits it hard in the chorus and he sings that he will be doing down swinging, if he goes down at all. The bridge is a prayer to God. He’s willing to fight the elements.
Key lyric: I might bend but I won't break
I just need U – This song was written by Bryan Fowler, Blake NeeSmith and Toby and produced by Fowler and Toby. It was the first single released from the album and topped the Christian music charts for an incredible 12 weeks. The song starts with keys, bass and light backing vocals. The song really takes off with the chorus and the memorable beat will stay in your head long after the song is over. The song includes a few lines from Psalm 23.
Key lyric: 'Cause all I know, all I know is You're my only hope
Scars – This song was written by and produced by Bryan Fowler, Cole Walowac and Toby and was produced by Fowler and Walowac. It was the third song released in advance of the album. Toby wrote the song for his 20-year-old son Truett about what life was throwing at him. The song is a bit more laid back though it builds powerfully towards the end. This is a touching song from a father to a son, encouraging him. He tells him that when life cuts so deep try and remember that you’re not alone. We’ve all been there and scars come with living. Lift your head to where your help comes from. The song features some light backing vocals.
Key lyric: It doesn't matter who you are, this world gonna leave some battle scars
Everything – This was the second single released from the album. It was written produced by David Garcia and Toby. The song has an instantly likeable groove that will stick in your head.
Key lyric: I see You in everything, all day, and every beat of my heart keeps reminding me
Starts With Me – This song was written by Dave Lubben, Cole Walowac, Aaron Cole and Toby. It was produced by Lubben and Walowac and features 19-year-old Christian hip-hop artist Aaron Cole on vocals. The song addresses race relations from both perspectives. They sing about the homes they were raised in and what was passed down to them from generation to generation. The song has a good beat and includes some samples from a Martin Luther King Jr. speech.
Key lyric: With a history that’s filled with hate, have we ever been united states?
Edge Of My Seat – This is an upbeat song both musically and lyrically. It has a great dance beat, driven by drum, and features some backing vocals. The Lord is opening up his eyes to new opportunities. The song quotes Isaiah 43:19, Behold, I am doing a new thing in the land.
Key lyric: Ain't no one ever gonna steal the mystery You put right in front of me
It’s You – This song slows down the pace a bit. The song is about the Lord. Life doesn’t make sense without Him. The song features some backing vocals, keys and percussion.
Key lyric: It’s You, then everything else just falls in line
Horizon (A New Day) – This is an upbeat song about the body of Christ, the church. He references 1 Corinthians 12, that the church, the body, the family has different parts but is one and the same. The song opens with keys and has a good driving beat. A new day is on the horizon and nothing is going to stand in the way of the church.
Hello Future – On this song, Toby sings of nothing sweeter than welcoming new mercies every morning (Lamentations 3:22-23). Over a good beat, he sings of going through a difficult time but now the troubles have washed away and he’s home again. The future is going to be OK.
Overflow – This joyful song, features a good beat and some horns. When he’s running empty, the Lord fills up his cup till it overflows.
Key lyric: You are the sweetest love, sweetest love that I've ever known
See The Light – In this song Toby is encouraging to those who are going through a hard season of life. Life is hard, there are doubts, uphill climbs and battles. But just hang on a little longer, burdens will fade. He points us to Psalm 121, where we see that our help comes from the LORD. The song has a good beat, and will be a particularly encouraging song in concert, with many hands held high.
Key lyric: You got more than you on your side