Thanks to my friends at FlyByPromotions, I had the opportunity to review the new Toby Mac CD – “This Is Not A Test” this week. I have always believed that one of the marks of a great artist is their ability to stay relevant as time goes by. Many artists turn to shock value and other creative ways to stay in the public eye. Others continue to mold their sound to match that of the current music scene. DC Talk had a knack for doing this and it should be no surprise that former DC Talk member Toby Mac continues that trend.
“This Is Not A Test” is another example of Toby keeping with the current sounds while continuing to spread the message of hope, love and a life that follows Christ. There are not many CD’s that the kids and the parents can agree on but “This Is Not A Test” is one that can used on road trips and the whole family will be satisfied. The grooves are smooth and the lyrics are easy to understand. One song flows to the next and makes “This Is Not A Test” a joy to listen to.
Toby McKeehan(known professionally as TobyMac) is a husband, father, performer, songwriter, producer, and businessman. Growing up in the northern Virginia suburbs adjacent to Washington D.C. helped instill his love for rap music. While attending Liberty University during the mid 80s, Toby met Michael Tait and Kevin Max Smith and these three friends formed the Grammy winning, platinum selling group dc Talk. Toby began his solo career in 1999 with his first solo album, Momentum, releasing in 2001. Momentum has been followed by four additional studio albums, Welcome to Diverse City (2004), Portable Sounds (2007), Tonight(2010), and Eye On It (2012), along with his first live album, Alive and Transported (2008). This Is Not A Test is his 6th studio album to be released. Starting with dc Talk, and then going solo when the group disbanded, Toby still clings to such rootsy notions as hard work, persistence, patience, and – perhaps most relevant of all – the power of music, which he insists is still what keeps him going. “It’s the truth,” he says. “I still believe that a song can penetrate a heart. I believe God can use a song to open someone’s mind and heart.”
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