Review – Lecrae ‘REHAB’
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Lecrae is back with his fourth studio album: ‘Rehab’. His previous projects displayed his passion to be unashamed, encouraged believers to live for Christ after the music stops and be rebels. Rehab conveys the message of rehabilitation, redemption and recovery.
The Christian life is your rehab center so its time to Check In. Lecrae’s intro songs are always exciting. This song sets the tone of Rehab with lyrics such as “Aye Check me in I know I’m sick of my addiction got my itchin’ everyday I need a fixin’.” Produced by Cheesebeats Killa personifies sin as a lustful woman. Painting the picture of sin’s destructive patterns. The synth driven, southern swag beat is a perfect fit for this song. When vices attempt to destroy you there is Divine Intervention. Lecrae says “before I work I need a couple tools, you spoke the earth into existence no auto tune.” J.R. is the featured vocalist and producer of this song. Just Like You has to be one of the most transparent songs on the album. The reminiscent flow of Lecrae’s uncles as model figures, lack of fatherly influence and learning to be a husband scrapes the surface of this J. Paul featured song. The vibe of the album at this point drifts from the anthem songs into a more poetic soundtrack of life.
When life is moving fast Lecrae encourages the listener that you Gotta Know that God will be there to hold everything together. Musically, this song presents acoustic drums with piano riffs giving a live unplugged vibe. With production from Benjah and Sky, as well as featuring Benjah gives us a cool cruising song to ride to. New Reach Records artist KB assist on the PK produced Used To Do It Too. The guitar intro leading into a stutter drum pattern brings light to the developing new sound for Lecrae. This song caught me off guard because I was expecting a song with lyrics going faster than Nascar drivers. With lyrics reminiscing of the past but ending with “a living testimony so you can do it too.” It’s refreshing hearing that you can go through trials but come out changed. Sonny Sandoval (P.O.D.) and Dillavou adds to the rock/reggae anthem Children of the Light. Musically this song didn’t appeal to me. I expected a harder presence rather than the laid back reggae feel. Lyrically the content is great but the music didn’t really catch me.
High was the first street single and didn’t grasp as I thought it could have. The beat contained a whining bass line that was borderline overcrowding the drums. The production also included “drop it like its hot” break down which is actually my favorite part of the beat. Suzy Rock and Sho Baraka are featured on the song, and Sho shined on this track. I would have like to have seen Suzy rap on this song as well. New Shalom comes hard, featuring Reach affiliate PRo. Sonically this brings us back to the southern fused banger which includes the chopped and screwed hook. Followed by another banger 40 Deep with help from Tedashii and Trip Lee. The kick hits with a crunching effect with a snappy snare. This is arguably the best beat on the album. At this point in the album, Lecrae takes it back to classic banger music. The feeling is as if you are Walking on Water. God is Enough sounds like it should have been the lead single, and is a radio ready groove produced by Kajmir Royale. It is a new sound for Lecrae featuring Flame and Jai. Anthony Evans is surprisingly featured on the song Boasting. This song starts with Anthony singing over an acoustic guitar, followed by the beat dropping and Lecrae rapping. This song really helped give the album a mature and polished feel. Chris Lee, C-Lite and Chinua Hawk are featured on Background, New Reality and Release Date, and a wife-dedication, I Love You to complete the project.
Rehab is Lecrae’s best project to date. The introductory songs all the way to the ending is an incredible ride through the growth of Lecrae. There are moments of familiar themes and rhymes that we’ve heard on previous Lecrae albums. However, the listening experience didn’t include songs that sounded like Lecrae is preaching at you. Rehab encourages the listener as he tackled various topics. The content is an added plus to the array of guest features. Usually with fifteen plus features the artist will be lost. But Lecrae is loud and clear in the music. At first listen the sonic direction of the album appears to be all over the place. But after listening you will begin to feel the various sounds blend in. The mid-tempo songs could have been condensed because it overshadows songs such as Killa. The flow of the project could have also included a few more bangers similar to New Shalom and 40 Deep but the grooving songs are so well produced it feels just right. The overall sound of Rehab is different from previous offerings. With production from: J.R., Cheesebeats, PK, Benjah, Sky, Street Symphony, Alex Medina, G.Roc, G. P. and Kajmir Royale, the album is extremely diverse. I appreciate progression and growth so the change in my view is communicated well. With diverse content, Rehab is set to reach. Check into Rehab, and stay tuned for ‘Rehab: The Overdose’ out 1.11.11!
Release Date: September 28 2010
Label: Reach Records
1. Check In
3. Divine Intervention ft. J.R.
4. Just Like You ft. J. Paul
5. Gotta Know ft. Benjah
6. Used To Do It Too ft. KB
7. Children of the Light ft. Sonny Sandoval & Dillavou
8. High ft. Sho Baraka & Suzy Rock
9. New Shalom ft. PRo
10. 40 Deep ft. Tedashii & Trip Lee
11. Walking On Water
12. God Is Enough ft. Flame & Jai
13. Boasting ft. Anthony Evans
14. Background ft. C-Lite
15. New Reality ft. Chinua Hawk
16. Release Date ft. Chris Lee 17. Bonus Track I Love You ft. Chris Lee