A True Anomaly
Posted September 27, 2014
By MarkRyan_NRT, Staff Reviewer
Once in a while, an album is released that changes the face of a genre. An album that garners so much attention that it cannot be ignored. Lecrae has done exactly this with his latest installment, Anomaly.
This is a fitting title for an album in a sub-genre of music that has typically been identified as poor quality from the mainstream market. A lot of mainstream music fans speak jokingly of Christian music in general, and even Christian music fans regularly discuss how the general market of Christian music lags behind other popular music by about a year in terms of style.
Lecrae has set each one of us straight, showing us that excellence in the name of Jesus is achievable and that we don't have to crossover to mainstream in order to gain mainstream attention. Excellent music cannot be denied its just place in our music libraries.
This is demonstrated by the fact that this album reached #1 in the Billboard Top 200 after its first week of sales, has spent two weeks as #1 Rap Album, #1 Christian Album and #1 Gospel Album. "All I Need Is You," a song devoted to his wife, has spent the last 2 weeks as the #1 Hot Gospel Song and "Messengers (feat. For KING AND COUNTRY)" is the #1 Digital Gospel Song with three other tracks rounding out the top four of the Digital Gospel Songs on Billboard.
This album ranges from calling out the privileged and showing how America cares neither for its own or immigrants on "Welcome to America" to calling out the mainstream hip hop industry for talking about "Nuthin." It excels both when having fun with Andy Mineo on "Say I Won't" and getting personal on "Good, Bad, Ugly," in which he talks about some of his past issues including a girlfriend have an abortion and being sexually assaulted as a child.
When I first downloaded the album, I heard something different, something new from Lecrae. I was not a huge fan of Gravity or either of the Church Clothes albums, so I had set an extraordinarily high bar for Mr. Moore here. He easily cleared it with this album.
As always, the production quality from Reach Records is second to none. The use of chanting and foreign languages as background sounds keeps our ears perked up, always wondering what is being said.
This is the new bar for all other Christian artists, hip hop or otherwise, to look at and know is possible. This album is as important to the Christian music industry as Roger Banister's four-minute mile was to distance running: it is evidence that something once thought near impossible can happen once, and in just a few years may become common place.
Song to Download Now:
"Welcome to America" (Get it on iTunes here.)
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