Review – Chalwell – Welcome to this Crazy World
Chalwell’s reggae-infused Welcome To This Crazy World is a slick album with modern sensibilities, tight flows, and crisp beats. Fans of the genre will be greatly pleased with this new offering by such a talented artist.
Appropriately, “Welcome To This Crazy World” opens the album, welcoming the listener to Chalwell’s mellow style of lyrical delivery. Marley-esque in his approach, Chalwell commands the track well and speaks of the messiness of the world in which we find ourselves. However, this reggae does not elicit a marijuana-induced haze of ultimate brokenness, instead saying, conveying that while the world is messed up there is hope to be found in Jesus Christ. “Let It Go” was my favorite track on the entire album. I might be a little biased, though. This was the first track I heard on MySpace before I received the album for review. So, I had listened to it quite a few times before I was able to hear the rest of the LP. Still, the track is still very good. GT guests on the track and really helps carry the vibe, flowing over the light beat effortlessly. “Saturday Night Massacre” is a straight-ahead party track.The fusion of rap and reggae are at their best here. I wasn’t too found of the beat of “Warpath.” The lyrics seemed like they would have been more effective on a track with a hard-hitting vibe. Chalwell mellows things out a bit with the light, breezy “Woke Up In The Morning.” One can imagine waves crashing against the white sand beaches of Jamaica as they listen to this one. “Bettaway” starts out and sounds a bit like its from the 80’s, but once Chalwell starts rhyming, he brings the track firmly into the new millennium.
The difficulty that arose from the album is that Chalwell does the art form a little too well. There were several times where it was difficult to understand what he was saying. It was not to the point that I could not understand the overarching theme of each song or the album as a whole. However, in attempting to communicate a message of faith, if the listener is unable to understand the lyrics, then communication breaks down. But, this is truly the only qualm I had with the album. Overall, Chalwell’s Welcome To This Crazy World is a solid foray into the world of reggae, which tends to be foreign territory for Christian music. Chalwell seems right at home here, though. Those who are predisposed against the genre will likely avoid the album, but those who love the fusion of hip-hop elements and island sounds will want to pick this up.
Release Date: July 27, 2007
Record Label: Lion Lamb Records (Indie)
1. Welcome To This Crazy World
2. Let It Go featuring GT
3. Saturday Night Massacre
5. Woke Up In The Morning
6. Better Way
8. Fragments of a Man
9. See It
10. Congratulations 11. Outro