Album Review: Lecrae – ‘Anomaly’
Street Date: 9-9-14
Record Label: Reach Records
Genre: Hardcore Hip Hop/Rap
iPod Pick: Runners
Without batting an eye once the first track begins on Anomaly you can tell Lecrae has definitely taken his skills up a notch. On the first track, I love how Lecrae expresses better the cultural notion “The only competition you have in is with yourself”. He raps, “I failed at being you but I’m winning at me.” He doesn’t stop there, he also adds quickly “I’m winning at being free”. He speaks to the paradox that though we are individually unique, the truth to not being alone is realizing that there are plenty people like us. You need to spin ‘Outsiders’ on your stereo for the full gist. The song does a great job lyrically.
Welcome to America starts thousands of feet (37 thousand feet actually) above the ground. Musically I love the pseudo African chants that accompany the intro rap. I mean, you want to feel the music as a rhythm ensues. But overlook the fact that you would hear the word America over a hundred times in a 4 minute track and just enjoy the song. Andy Mineo (of Lecrae’s Reach Records)drops it like crazy on Say I Won’t.
The intro of Nuthin (which was also co-written by Andy Mineo) brought a smile to my face, some clean Chris brown type of singing done by Dimitri Mcdowell. It is a challenging song in tune and lyrics as Lecrae proposes that if all that is been said in mainstream media is still girls, cars and cash, they aren’t talking anything new. In the style of Kelly Osbourne’s 10 years old ‘One Word’ song, Lecrae creatively throws in a French interlude on fear. I think it’s beautiful. He also throws in a Japanese interlude towards the end. It’s sad that the track ‘Anomaly’ comes across more as an interlude than a standard track. The rest of Anomaly mostly passes in a blur of disjointed rap songs trying to say something at the expense of music artistry except songs likeRunners which would get you wondering why this didn’t come earlier or even as an opening or second track.
Some soul shows up Good,Bad, Ugly. And whatever the producer did to Kari Jobe’s voice on Broken got us wondering ‘What? Is that the Kari We listen to every Sunday morning on our way to church?’. Let go of the hype that’s building cause you heard Kari Jobe is on the song, it’s more of a Lecrae song.
Funny thing is that the men of For King and Country (who are brothers to the Grammy Award winning Rebecca St. James) kind of dominated the next track called Messengers and this kind of brought out a new sound from the rap of Lecrae. I love it, one of my best tracks on the track. There is a rolling anthemic beat throughout the song. Though most albums don’t end with a fast closer, It works well, a type of charge for listeners to put into action the music of Anomaly.
The whole of anomaly can pass as a blur if you do not lean in to the gems hidden there in. There is so much to chew on and a lot of visible beneficial improvement in the craft of this long time coming artist. I don’t want to conclude that the marketing of Anomaly was heavier than the content therein or it’s just my expectation as this is the non-DJ Don Cannon project since Gravity. Also the best was saved for the last on many instances (Runners, Good, Bad, Ugly, Messengers). In the aftermath, Anomaly feels mor