Christian music doesn’t often get a very good deal when it comes to being talked about in the press outside of its own circles. Someone once said, “Why should the devil get all the best tunes?” It’s a good question.
With an unrelenting flow, big bold sounds, and serious themes, The Prequel is Shneal’s latest album filled with powerful beats and the clear intention to ‘bring it’.
Opening with ‘Universal’, there’s a darkness to the beginning stages of the album, musing on questions of life and moral choices. It’s grand sounding and engaging the whole way through.
‘Pride Of A Lion’ turns things up a little, with a backing track that is deep, dark, and at points euphoric. J Cutlass’ guest appearance storms in at the mid point of the track, delivering a blistering performance that is at points breathtaking.
‘Being Alice’ opens with a sweet sounding music box, before some darker synth swells join the mix. Once Shneal’s vocal comes in, he’s up front and centre, unavoidable and demanding of close attention. There’s also a sense of fun, using the white rabbit’s lines on the chorus, “I’m late for a very important date.” There’s something enticing about using such familiar words and reworking them into a new piece of art.
‘Safe Investment’ continues with the grand, epic sense of scale, putting the sprawling synths to good use and providing a strong backdrop for Shneal’s confident, relentless flow. There are points where it doesn’t work quite so well, particularly when the synthy pan-pipes come in and detract a little from the serious tone. Shneal’s use of guest vocals helps to give a sense of range and variety of style; Drama AKA Treason appears on ‘The Remedy’ and ‘Konspiracy’ and gives a suitable difference to create intrigue and interest, while Cryptic Wisdom’s appearance on ‘Automatic’ is snappy and fun, but not without a sense of menace.
There’s plenty to get lost in with Shneal’s The Prequel, so dive in and enjoy this imaginative set of hip-hop tunes.
Brooding and clattering, The Dark Becomes The Light is The Cellophane Heart’s sprawling album, balancing raw emotion, fragile beauty, and gives a lot of room for some interesting experimentation.
Duets are always interesting. It’s about finding two voices that work together to create a sense of chemistry and dynamic, as well as creative tension and blending together.
With lashings of country swagger and cheery, woozy vocals, ‘Fish Fryin’ by Hush Company is upbeat, eclectic, and a whole lot of fun.
The George Jones classic, ‘When The Grass Grows Over Me’ has been covered by award winning country singer Debbie Wilson.
The professional alumni that backs up Make It Better isn’t something to be sniffed at; mixed by Josh Mosser (co-writer of Imagine Dragons’ Radioactive), mastered by Grammy award winner Erick Labson, plus Jimmy Jax Pinchak also works a professional actor (Peter Wiggin from Ender’s Game).
With Night Travels, Ashley Davis has produced a new set of songs due for release on 20th May 2014 that will inspire and delight. With her soothing voice and variety of guest vocalists, this is a modern folk record that balances originality and confidence in its genre.