Posted August 05, 2014
By DwayneLacy_NRT, Staff Reviewer
Swoope's back with a follow up to Wake Up, which provided a lot of buzz and garnered accolades from critics and CHH fans alike. It seems as if Collision artists are masters of the concept album, and Swoope does not veer from this. Sinema is the new album, and the concept is that of a person being tempted and lured away by desires that damage their relationship with Christ. He used Proverbs 7 (the adulterous woman) and James 1:13-15 as the scriptural basis for the album. This album didn't grab me at first, but it grew on me through a second (and third) listen with more intent.
Throughout the album there are references to Mya, even phone messages from Mya. Who is this Mya? Mya is a metaphor for temptation and fleshly desires. "Beauty and the Beast" holds a good explanation of who she and her purpose. Swoope spits some heat over a simple boom bap and explains "She got lust in her eyes / Death on her tongue / Chest full of pride / Breast got me sprung / Nothing but destruction on her mind / But wants to keep me thinking that it's love all of the time..She's beautiful and a monster." These are honest and real lyrics, and this album plays out as basically a movie.
On "Sinema," Swoope explains the challenge of trying to get away from the lure of appealing desires (Mya) and how cunning she is. To make matters worse, she won't take no for an answer. He knows that if he gives her an inch (which he did) he will be hooked. Therefore he starts drawing towards her. This is where she starts clouding his mind, which he makes clear on "On My Mind," reminiscent of a psychedelic club track. J. R. adds some serious heat via his falsetto vocals. Continuing with "LSD," things get even more dangerous when those fleshly cravings become an addiction like that of a highly addictive drug. The music is so smooth with sounds of the flute, soothing fender rhodes and the slick vocals of Christon Gray.
It is amazing to see how the story plays out as we wonder if he totally succumbs to Mya and her destructive ways. Things come to a head and Swoope raps with rapid fire passion on "Sin In Me." He recognizes that succumbing to temptation means the birth of sin. Sin will not go away without God's help to help him battle himself. Think Glenn Close on "Fatal Attraction". With God's help he can overcome Mya and "wake up" from this nightmare.
"#Same Team" is a cypher for the ages. It features Dre Murray (who does not disappoint), Tedashii (he smashes), Yaves, J Givens (he keeps delivering), and J Gives (who nailed his verse). The guys clarify that although they are in different crews, they all have the same goals to reach souls for Christ. The beat is slow with haunting keyboard loops to accompany it.
The album comes to a beautiful close as Swoope asks God to "Fix My Heart" in a cut featuring Swoope on vocoder to accompany Denise Powell on the chorus. Propaganda waxes poetic to add the icing on the cake. His Disney Channel references are ridiculous (in the best way).
Though there are selfish desires and temptations that try (and sometimes succeed) in drawing people away from Christ, there is a way out. Sinema is one of the most original concept albums out there. The question is, will people listen intently enough to get the concept and understand the album's purpose? The album requires a dedicated listen from start to finish to get the concept, and if you do that, it will be an enriching experience.
Song to Download Now:
"Sinema" (Get it on iTunes here.)
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