From Nigeria to London to Your Ear Drums
Posted November 05, 2012
By MarkRyan_NRT, Staff Reviewer
So it Continues is the latest release from Lampmode recording artist S.O. S.O. was born in Nigeria, raised in London, and in 2011 signed with Lampmode Records; the home of Json, Timothy Brindle, Shai Linne, God’s Servant and others. This album is smooth, plain and simple. From beginning to end the album flows with solid beats, smooth hooks and clever lyrics.
The album kicks off with the title track, “So It Continues.” It starts smooth with an easy beat and gets you nodding your head, preparing you to agree with what S.O. has to say: "I mean it when I’m sayin’ this speech / more than bein’ beast tryin’ to bury a beat / more like, seein’ a need and knowin’ people agree / the bread of life’s callin’ people to eat / so come feast with me." And feast you will as the rhymes multiply and mix faith with sound theology backed up by solid production.
Next up is "Lamentations" featuring Leah Smith on the chorus. Ms. Smith also featured on "Lows and Highs" on the last album, So It Begins. This song is a reflection of the death of a father and how the family mourned and more importantly how the narrator dealt with the pain of the loss: "You give and You take away / but by Your grace I know that You make a way."
"I Can Bear" is up next and those with a keen ear will recognize the sample used throughout of "More Than I Can Bear" by God’s Property (Kirk Franklin). It follows in the same vein that God will never give us more than we can bear in our lives and that His grace is still sufficient. The next track, "Away Soon," starts with a smooth R&B vibe and then comes with a solid beat. Sean C. Johnson features as the vocalist on the chorus and the smooth vocals set off against S.O.’s rhymes provides the listener with a balanced diet. The song speaks of the hope we have in Jesus and that soon we will be gone away from the pain and trials that we face today.
"Memoirs (Wish You Were Around)" is another personal track. This is letter to friend who has stepped away from God and an open prayer that the song makes it to him and that he comes back to the full knowledge of Christ. Lecrae features on the next track, "Radical." The song is about just as the title implies; that as followers of Christ, we are to be radical in our service to Him. It is a declaration of who we are in Christ.
S.O.’s Nigerian roots lead us into "I Am." An African choir is sampled throughout the song, and they’re clapping serves as the backbeat as S.O. and fellow Lampmode artist Shai Linne bring the gospel of who God is. This song is one my favorites on the album and it may just be the reminder of Cross Movement’s "I Am that I Am." Not so much style wise but in title and the Old Testament references.
"Walk In The Son" hits hard from the get go, but it doesn’t feel disjointed at all. This may be due to the fact that entire album was produced by G.P. of Dvine Muzic. The flow continues into "Tell Em All" featuring Andy Mineo. I love the community of Christian Hip Hop that Reach Records artists and Lampmode artists feature on each other’s albums. This track is about evangelism and telling everyone that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. Another declaration of living for the truth follows on in "You Know It." This is a message to men on what being a real man is. The song would have worked well on the soundtrack for Courageous: "Keep pushin’ to be like the Christ and never change." The song does end with somewhat of a drawn-out piano solo, my only real criticism of the album to this point.
"Yesterday" is about going back to when we first found Christ, when the love and passion was raw and real. It is a yearning for the love of our youth. "Passion and Purity" is musically driven by a somber piano as the artist speaks of some indiscretions in his youth. The song speaks to wanting to live with passion and purity in our walk with Christ. This will leave the listener thinking about their current walk and if they are walking and moving as Christians or as the world walks and moves. The album closes with "The End?". This song features some old school record scratching and brings the listener to a happier place than the last song. It really is about living with the end in mind. The song closes with an exhortation from Timothy Brindle.
With the exception of a couple musical miscues in outros, and one song that didn’t really fit in, this album was well done from beginning to end. S.O. has an awesome flow and his rhymes are theologically sound. This album is definitely not just for beats but causes the listener to sit and think. It demands a reaction. Don’t merely crank this on the car radio, sit and mediate on the lyrics and on your walk with God. Let the lyrics bless you. And if you haven’t downloaded it already, go and get So It Begins, it makes a great companion piece.
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