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The Elements Redefined
Posted October 04, 2019
By JoshuaGalla_NRT, Staff Reviewer


What You Need To Know:  
Toby “Tobymac” McKeehan grew up in the suburbs of Northern Virginia mostly influenced by the culture of neighboring Washington D.C. Since the start of his solo career in 2001 apart from the legendary dc Talk, Tobymac has recorded seven studio albums, five remix projects, two Christmas albums, and two live projects. He’s devoted a remix project to every studio album with the exception of This Is Not A Test.
 
The most recent offering of The St. Nemele Collab Sessions is comprised of song remixes from Tobymac’s 2018 studio effort, The Elements. This remix project is unique as it includes several featured artists from the Christian music industry and offers a brand-new song.

What It Sounds Like: 
Refreshing is the first word that comes to mind when thinking of the sonic value of The St. Nemele Collab Sessions. In years past, the other four remix projects didn’t include vocal additions from featured artists. Tobymac stuck to the formula of inviting some of the industry-best producers and industry friends to provide a new touch on original tracks. This time around, he borrowed vocal offerings from some of the most well-known artists in Christian music. Ledger, Crowder, Bart Millard, Jordan Feliz, Cory Asbury, Matt Maher to name a few of the invited guests.
 
With the focus being more-so on collaborations, each track has a personalized feel set aside from the original song. A formula for success separates from the repetitive notion to solely change the beat on remixes. This project breathes new life into the original songs found on The Elements from a year ago.
 
First up, we have “The Elements – Neon Feather Remix” featuring Ledger kicking the project off. Ledger’s adlibs and harmonies add an edge to the original. Combined with the beauty the usual Neon Feather remix adds, the first track is one of the favorites.  
 
I just need U. – Tide Electric Remix” featuring Cory Asbury is a standout track too. Not solely because of the inclusion of Asbury, but the brilliance of Tide Electric. The calm, slow buildup into powerful drums and a certain beauty remains throughout the track to pronounce it not only as melodic, but a track you can bob your head to.
 
Heart Of My Beat” ends the project on a high note being a completely new original track. It’s catchy and easy to repeat the hook for hours. Therefore, your typical Tobymac track.

Spiritual Highlights: 
Tobymac has possessed a 29-year career (11 years with dc Talk, 18 years solo). Defined as a solidified “Jesus Freak,” expressing his faith through music has never been an issue. There are touches of spirituality throughout this remix project. “See The Light – Ruslan Remix” speaks how the light of Christ takes away burdens, obstacles and weakness focusing on the strength and love our Savior provides. “Scars (Come Wit Livin’) – Neon Feather Remix speaks in-depth about-facing trails in life and using those weaknesses as strengths in our faith. To do mighty things for the Kingdom. Toby is defined by his faith, always has and always will.
 
Best Song on the Record: 
Many gems stick out on this project, however, “Horizon (A New Day) – Stereovision Remix” featuring Aaron Cole struck a chord with me personally. Cole has always remained a favorite artist of mine. The fact he bodied the added verse on this track confirmed its spot in my heart. The switch from background keys in the original to a driving acoustic on the remix was the cherry on top. This track remains on repeat regardless of the week.

For Fans Of: 
Tauren Wells | Peabod | Manafest | Conner Flannagan
 
Final Word:
The Elements stood as one of my top three Toby projects until this remix project arrived. Now, the two mixed collectively could claim the number one spot. I’m a sucker for collaborations, especially when done properly. Toby enlisted top-notch producers and heavyweights from around the industry to join him while finetuning songs that will resonate in the heart for years to come.

Stream on Spotify or purchase on iTunes.

View All Music And Book Reviews By JoshuaGalla_NRT | View JoshuaGalla_NRT's Profile

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