A Noble Nod to Lewis
Posted July 25, 2013
By MarkRyan_NRT, Staff Reviewer
Admittedly, Heath McNease was relatively unknown to me prior to completing this review. Surprisingly, to this reviewer, The Weight of Glory Second Edition - A Hip-Hop Remix is McNease's 11th album, which for a relatively unknown artist set me back in my seat a little to wonder what I've missed.
This piece of indie artistry made me take notice of an interesting artist whose work in this instance reminded me of the likes of Propaganda and Beautiful Eulogy. Additionally, anyone who takes the work of venerable C.S. Lewis and turns it into a hip-hop album is worth a listen in my book.
The first song, "Edmund," is inspired by the complex character of the same name found in Lewis' The Chronicles of Narnia—specifically, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. The acoustic guitar and organic beats are instantly reminiscent of Beautiful Eulogy. It was after listening to this song that I finally realized that Edmund is Lewis' version of Judas. So this gives Mr. McNease top marks for teaching me something.
In the four verses of track two, McNease walks through personal examples of "The Four Loves," based on the book of the same title by C.S. Lewis. The four loves are: storge - affection, which McNease relates to his family; phileo - friendship, which he relates to friends and the connections he made after he left his own home town; eros - romance and finally agape - unconditional love, the love he experienced when he gave his life to Christ. This is a deeply personal testimony, expertly crafted together.
McNease takes bold approaches in walking through 12 of Lewis' works including titles such as "The Great Divorce," "A Grief Deserved" along with its partner piece "The Problem of Pain," "Mere Christianity," "The Screwtape Letters" and "The Weight of Glory."
The only book I had any plot knowledge of prior to this review was The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, and I had heard of Mere Christianity and The Screwtape Letters. Through McNease's artistry and personal reflection contained within this album has definitely given me a desire to read the books that inspired this album.
The sound definitely seems inspired by the production team over at Humble Beast Records, and at points, McNease's own flow seems eerily similar to Propaganda and Beautiful Eulogy. Top marks given for creating an album based on true literature, however some style points were deducted for just how close it sounds to other artists out there.
The album is available on Noisetrade so don't hesitate to go and pick it up and leave Heath a fat tip over there for being bold and creative.
Song to Download Now:
"The Four Loves" (Get it on NoiseTrade here
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