TobyMac "This is Not a Test" Song by Song Review
Posted August 11, 2015
I absolutely love TobyMac's music. His live shows are incredible, but even more amazing is the way he glorifies God through his lyrics, his passion, and his life. Here is a song by song review of TobyMac's new album- the deluxe edition. God bless!
1. Like A Match
This song has a similiar message to "Burn for You" and "Catch-a-fire" which is about being a light for Jesus. I really love the line in this song that says, "If it's real, we gotta show it; and if it's not, they gonna know it." Being a Christian is more than just saying I believe or singing a song. It's living for Christ on a daily basis "for the world to see". If our faith in God is real and true, then we should want to share it with the world. This is such a great reminder for Christians to let the light of Jesus shine.
2. Backseat Driver (feat. Hollyn and Tru)
The message in this song is astounding. "I don't wanna be no backseat driver.... I don't wanna navigate the way, Lord, take it over..." I naturally love to be in charge and to do things my way, but this song is such a great reminder that God knows best. I don't want to be driving and put God in the backseat. I want to follow God's lead and be content in the backseat. Up-and-coming artist Hollyn takes over the chorus and she has a wonderful voice. I was really excited to see Tobymac's son, Tru on verse 2 though. His voice has matured so much over the years and he's really becoming quite the rapper. Not to mention the fact, that he's 16 and I'm 16- the age when driving is typically on the mind.
3. This is Not a Test (feat. Capital Kings)
I first heard this song live from the K-Love Fan Awards stream. Tobymac and Capital Kings are all amazing, but when together, it's an incredible thing! I love how rock and EDM meet in this song. There was a poster in my grade school music classroom that said "Your life is a stage and the world is watching". That quote and this song have the same message: We don't get to rehearse life- we're in live action every day. That's why it's so important to make every moment count for God.
4. Lights Shine Bright (feat. Hollyn)
I love songs that include whisper parts. The message in this song is great too- about reflecting God and letting our light shine for Him. The second verse rap is very cool. I love the ending interview session with Jamie Grace asking about a DC Talk reunion, someone asking about Mr. Talkbox, then the final question was "Toby, you've been doing this for a while. How much do you think you have in you?- which leads perfectly to the next song- TobyMac's answer to that question.
5. Til the Day I Die (feat. NF)
I love TobyMac's commitment to serve God til the very end. It can be easy to get discouraged because things aren't working the way you thought, you feel tired, people say you're too young/old, etc., but the truth is God wants to use us in amazing ways if we're willing to follow Him. I want to serve God til the day I die- and then go to be with Him and serve Him even more. I love the lines "blood, sweat, tears, it's a calling/ And if I can't walk then I'm crawling". To me, this shows that living for God isn't always easy, but it's so worth it.
6. Feel It (feat. Mr. Talkbox)
The first part of this song reminds me of the concept of Me Without You: "When I sit back and imagine life without You I can't fathom how I ever thought I'd make it on my own". I love when artists revisit themes in new and exciting ways. TobyMac said, regarding this song, that you can't see the wind but you see it's affects and you feel it. The same is true for God. We don't physically see Him, but we see all He's done and all He's doing and feeling Him is so amazing. I love the line that says, "You take our brokenness and make us beautiful". The fact that God's able to use our weakness for His strengh is so amazing. This song is such a great reminder that God's there and that He's moving in ways we don't always see.
7. Move (Keep Walkin')
I love the soul-feel of this song. It reminds me a little of "Irene" and is a very good fit. This song reminds us that no matter how things are, it's not over. We are soldiers of the Lord who can put our hope in the promises He's made.
8. Love Broke Thru
This song's style is really interesting. I don't think I could hit the high notes in the chorus- but they're really well done. This song is testimony-style telling about how love broke through when Jesus first comes into our hearts. I love the line that says, "I've done all that I could to undo me, but You loved me enough to pursue me." It's amazing that no matter how we've messed up, God still loves us and wants us to grow closer to Him.
9. Beyond Me
I was able to attend Tobymac's concert in November 2014 when he debuted this song. I love how true this song is. God is way beyond me- way beyond anything I can do or think of or beyond anything I can imagine. I love the part that says "You gave me the stars but put them out of my reach; called me to waters a little too deep." Seeing the beauty and depth of natures shows us even more how beyond us God is and how incredible He is. I think this is a great song to have as a life motto. TobyMac says his prayer is "God breathe something through me that's beyond me." I hope that we can all apply that prayer to our lives because God's plans are out-of-this-world amazing!
10. Love Feels Like (feat. DC Talk)
It's been 20 years now since Jesus Freak's release, but these three can still bring it. I've heard many comments and excitement regarding this song and the hope of a DC Talk reunion. Although I'm not sure whether that will happen or not, this song is incredible! I love how they were able to capture old-school DC Talk feel with their latest musical choices as well. God's love is amazing and DC Talk has captured it perfectly in this song.
TobyMac also shared this song in tour way back in November. "Undeniable" is similiar to "Lose My Soul" and "Made to Love" in the rap verses and singing choruses. I love the honest real-life feel of the verses and the worshipful chorus. I love the line "You're the bright and morning star and still You speak to my heart". God is so high, so worthy of our praise, yet He longs to know and love us. I also love the line "You're the argument I'm never losing". People will always try to say that God's dead, isn't real, etc. But that's not true. God is undeniable- He's real- He's amazing- and His word is always true.
12. Lift You Up (feat. Ryan Stevenson)
Ryan Stevenson has amazing music and actually wrote Speak Life with TobyMac. I think they both sound very good together. Honestly, I can't always tell the difference when they sing because their voices harmonize so perfectly. I really like the line "We're gonna lift You up cause You never let us down."
This is a love song that TobyMac wrote for his wife, Amanda. My favorite line is "I fall for you again- every time just like the first time". To me, this speaks of loyalty and contentment within marriage and that is a beautiful thing.
14. Beyond Me (Phenomenon Remix by Soul Glow Activatur)
I love how hyped this remix is! This track is definitely dance-worthy and even features a rap from Soul Glow Activatur.
15. Like A Match (Garcia's Remix)
This remix captures the heart of the song and reminds listeners to be on fire for God. What a great message to have starting and ending "This is Not a Test".
Overall, I thought this album was fantastic. This was definitely a different musical style than Eye On It, but a very good direction. The EDM, hip-hop, rap, pop, rock, and soul on this album were so beautifully combined. Most importantly, every song has God-centered lyrics that make this album truly worth it. I give this album a 5/5 for originality, quality, spirituality, and creativity.
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