Seizing the Moment
Posted August 11, 2014
By MaryNikkel_NRT, Staff Reviewer
Hip-hop/urban artist Manafest (Chris Greenwood) has forged a path with iron-clad determination, a blood-sweat-and-tears work ethic, and some incredibly solid beats married to rock and roll grit. The skater and musician branched out into yet another area this year in writing the book Fighter (sharing the same title as his 2012 album), which is set for release this October. Manafest's unstoppable momentum continues with the end of summer release The Moment, which is the result of a fan-funded PledgeMusic campaign.
Manafest's tunes have always stood on the tension between rock and hip-hop, and on this release he fully embraces that tension rather than trying to fight it. The result is an album popping with energy and swagger, such as on rhythmic rocker "Bull In a China Shop" or crackling cut "Edge of My Life."
Although Manafest definitely continues to show off a solid rap flow (see title track "The Moment" and "Paradise"), this album see him fusing his strongest melodic hooks yet into the mix. "Criminal" exhibits this dynamic balance well, as does the surprisingly mellow "Love Wide Open," which gives us a glimpse into what happens when our darkest moments meet the light of Christ. Some smooth electronic elements round off the sonic landscape, proving instantly intriguing on tracks like "Cage" and "Light."
Thematically, this album is a fitting chapter for the artist, who has often spoken about the necessity of denying fear (which he describes as "False Evidence Appearing Real") in order to take hold of your life. This album comes from the heart of that decision, capturing the conflicting emotions of choosing to step out and claim your moment in spite of fears. Lead single "Diamonds" epitomizes this moment of faith, calling on Manafest's longtime friend and collaborator Trevor McNevan (Thousand Foot Krutch) to provide the melodic hook of the song, and to sum up its message in the bridge: "It's the faith like a child that counts when / I try to do what I think I feel is right / But it's never been something I control / It's so hard to commit when I don't know."
Manafest is indeed a fighter, both in his relentless dedication to overcome fear in order to claim his identity in Christ (and to help others do the same), and also in his battle to constantly refine a musical style that chooses the challenge of skirting genres borders. The result is a win all around for fans. The Moment pulses with immediacy, utilizing snappy rhymes and grungy guitars to demolish fear and call for faith. This is a stand-out moment in his discography, and a solid addition to any rock or urban library.
Song to Download Now:
"Diamonds" (Get it on iTunes here.)
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