KJ-52's critically acclaimed record The Yearbook is back, now packaged with 13 additional tracks called The Missing Pages. A diverse collection of only KJ’s best instrumentation, beats, rhymes, and melodies to date. His debut as a self-producer shows impressive hints of staples such as The Neptunes, Timbaland, and DJ Premiere. His songs range from acoustic, programmed, beat-driven numbers to heavy guitar tracks with live drums. Think Rage Against the Machine, Linkin Park, mixed with classic 90’s, golden age hip-hop. The result is an entire album--not just a couple singles--that will keep you interested from front to back. Aaron Sprinkle (Kutless, Jeremy Camp) adds production on two tracks as well, and KJ even teams up with rock champions Disciple for a song. Guest appearances also include Toby Morrell of Emery, Ayiesha Woods, and Liquid. This is a virtuous merger of rival factions--hip-hop, rock, and R&B--and a triumph, to say the last, with catchy commercial songwriting and boatloads of singable choruses. But beyond the production achievement, and beyond the solid songs, lies meaning. Eternal meaning
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Will You Ever Know
Do Yo Thang
You'll Never Take Me Down (ft. Kevin Young of Disciple)
Do You Got That?
It Ain't Easy
I Won't Ever Stop (feat. Goldinchild)
You Can Still Come Back
Can I Be Honest?
5 Minutes (In the Garden)
Daddy's Girl (feat. Liquid)
Wake Up feat. Toby Morell of Emery
Say What You Want
You're Gonna Make It feat. Blanca Reyes of Group 1 Crew
You Hang Up First
Always Here For You
Take Every Part Of Me
Entry last edited by on 04.26.09
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A GENERALLY UNNECESSARY IN BETWEEN ALBUM| Posted November 24, 2008
There’s no overlooking KJ-52’s ability to hit the target on his conceptually themed 2007 CD The Yearbook, which not only offered a series of self-esteem affirmations, but impressive rhymes over the emcees’ rap, hip-hop and occasional rock hybrid. Outside of being a fan favorite on the road, the project also expanded the Christian star’s listener base, thanks in part to song placement on CBS’ “Cold Case,” plus collaborations with members of Disciple, Emery and Group 1 Crew (to name a few).
In attempts to continue that craze, this sequel of sorts provides several unreleased tracks from those sessions, plus a handful of remixes (following a rap market trend that often serves as a stalling tactic in between proper studio CDs, executed by everyone from Vanilla Ice to Kanye West). Though the songs are still in step with KJ-52’s current format and are generally quite accessible, the satirical duo “Stuck In the ’80s” and “Starbucks Takes All My Money” seem like mere leftovers with predictable premises.
Those hoping for something stellar in the remixes are likely to be disappointed as well with “You Can Still Come Back” and “Pump That” coming across particularly stale compared to the more intriguing original versions. The CD’s saving grace is the previously unheard duet with Liquid, “I Can Never Forget You,” a neo-soul reflection about rising above the ghetto’s circumstances. While it’s not enough to make this project one of KJ-52’s most meaningful moments, it’s a mildly entertaining epilogue that will hopefully prompt the performer to come out with an official album that starts from scratch sooner rather than later. –Andy Argyrakis
This review has been reprinted on NRT with permission from CCMMagazine.com. Click here to visit CCMMagazine.com today!