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For years, Manafest has straddled the line between rock and rap, drawing comparisons to such groups as Linkin Park, Limp Bizkit, KJ-52’s Peace of Mind project and even Eminem. With the release of The Chase, it seems like the artist has finally become comfortable in his own skin, categorizing his project as “rock” rather than “rap.” And I’d say he’s somewhere on the spectrum between Linkin and Limp…kinda like Fort Minor. This may disappoint some of his longtime fans, but it will more than likely gain him far more fans than he will lose.

“No Plan B” is the lead single off the album and comes complete with a random music video featuring Manafest skateboarding across what appears to be Tokyo, Japan. It’s a strong start to the album, establishing that this is who he is and there’s “no turning back, no plan B.”

“Fire In The Kitchen” is the requisite rebellious youth anthem of the project. This is a “pump your fist in the air” kind of number that declares, “No we’re gonna rock it till the lights go out/There’s fire in the kitchen again/Now we’re gonna rock it till the wheels fall off/We got it going on!” There’s no underlying message. Just seems to be about fun and games.

“Supernatural” starts out with a haunting guitar before careening into a raucous din of drums, bass, electric guitars, and Manafest’s vocals rising to the for. The most spiritually-attuned song on the album, it could be referring to Jesus saving us or it could just be a nebulous rescuer. Interpretation will depend on the listener.

“Bring The Ruckus” is a lot like “Fire In The Kitchen,” which is why I suppose they put “Supernatural” between the two. Had one followed the other, you might not have known you’d moved on to the next track.

“Married In Vegas” is probably the most impulsive, irresponsible song on the album. I don’t foresee a lot of people running off to Vegas to get married because of this song, but given the intended audience, one can never be sure. Beyond that, the song is just stupid. What was likely intended to add variety to The Chase will leave discerning listeners scratching their heads as to how it has anything to do with the rest of what they’ve heard.

Title track “The Chase” is a solid number, but it is sometimes difficult to understand what is being said. Manafest depends more on his old school rapper chops, spitting too fast to pick up what is being said at times. The production mix isn’t as crystal clear as the rest of the album, so that might have something to do with it.

Make no mistake, The Chase is aimed squarely at the teenaged, skater, rocker, slacker demographic. There’s nothing wrong with that, especially given that this is getting more of a general market push. Manafest may be swimming in a bigger pond now, now, but I wonder how this album will be able to differentiate itself from all the other albums that sounds like it. “It’s newer” is not a strong selling point. However, if someone picks it up, they get a heavier dose of fun and hope than they’re used to in their music diet.

Overall, Manafest has a good project on his hands. Time will tell how well it does in the arena of public opinion.

Label: BEC Recordings

Release Date: 3/30/10

Tracklisting:
1. No Plan B
2. Fire In The Kitchen
3. Supernatural
4. Every Time You Run
5. Bring the Rukus
6. Avalanche
7. Married In Vegas
8. Renegade
9. The Chase
10. Better Cause of You
11. Breaking Down these Walls

Purchase 'The Chase' on iTunes or AmazonMP3




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