Archie “Bringin’ The Noise In”
Reviewed By: DJ Gravity X 2/11
Rating: 5.6 (of 10)
Forgive me in advance of all reviews I may write if you do not agree or find me too critical. This is a new year and with a new year comes greater expectations. We have seen many extraordinary albums come out recently and in the last few years. As such, a new standard has been set. The goal for new and seasoned cats on the block is to meet or beat that standard. As such, my scoring and review might be a little stricter than in the past.
Archie explains that the concept behind “Bringin’ The Noise In” is simple. Many of us have had “church folk” hear us banging hip hop, rock or whatever and tell us to turn that noise down, or off. Those of us that minister via hip hop for any long period of time have faced church leaders, and especially older members, charge us with various infractions by evangelizing Christ via hip hop and other various modern music formats. Equally, the secular industry clowns us for just making noise with no real quality. Well Archie’s goal was to bring that “noise” into the church walls, not just out to the streets, and make it a joyful noise. The current and next young generations of our church desperately need music of their culture and age that stands on equal or better quality to what they would normally hear from the mainstream industries, but is infused with the power of God and appropriately reflects, evangelizes and teaches this Jesus Christ and biblical principles… A joyful noise from a redeemed heart, mind and soul.
So, is Archie succeeding in that goal of bringing that kind of noise? I will analyze.
One of the great aspects of this album is that Archie is reaching out to various styles of music, be that rap, rock, techno, etc. Most of these forms of music are sisters and brothers anyway, so why not bring them together? Also, Archie brings a strong God fearing message throughout the whole of this album. So that’s two successes. But then it starts falling short, I am sad to say.
Some parts are really just a bit flat starting with track 1. With shabby vocals on some tracks and shoddy production work on others and a delivery and rhyme schemes that leave much to be desired, the high standard that Archie desired to achieve was not exactly reached. Don’t get me wrong, there are good bits and elements. However, there is no real consistency of quality and Archie’s individual limitations were also made evident.
With that being said there is a good thing I can say. Archie shows a lot of promise with his craft and with more time and resources and work he and his I Am Second crew could turn out some real bangers in the future. Tracks like, “Rock The Crowd,” “Forgiven,” “Joy Steppin” and “Flying (remix)” are evidence to that as was the hook of “Hallelujah.” Some of the features on “Flying (remix)” were really good, so there is real promise for the future.
Speaking of “Flying,” though, I am worried about copy write issues as Archie essentially takes the beat of Dre Mcfly’s “Keep Flying” as well as his vocals for the hook and uses it as his own track on the album, now coined “Flying,” and did so twice – when considering the remix. I’ll leave the bitin’ and other debates of using secular tracks to others. But it is a shame that two of the few good songs happen to owe much to a secular track for its general quality. Just keep it to mix-tapes fam, that’s all I’m saying on that.
I also think that Archie shows a good understanding for creativity and a general understanding of music as a whole. I just don’t know if Archie is up for the challenge, just yet, of being the voice for his creativity. I’m not sure that his vocal delivery matches what he knows the vocals need to sound like. And while some might call that nit-picking, this is music and vocals are one of the key, instrumental aspects. I think if one interchanged Archie’s vocals, with the same lyrics, with several other premier Christian emcees and even Still Trill Christians or Yaves the Street Pastor from this album, the results would sound a lot better.
As such, in one of my favorite tracks on the album and most creative, “Rock the Crowd,” lost a bit of steam after the lead in. That same sound and energy could have been kept like in “Forgiven.” Regardless, it’s still a good track.
Part of that creativity that I did like was the inclusion of two techno breaks. I think Archie could have done more with them as they were quite short, and lacked some effort, but I commend the inclusion. “Brutal S3lf C0ntr0l” was actually the only track I gave 5 stars on my iTunes. This was a track on the verge of brilliance, especially with the southern break down. Also, with the touch of traditional house flavor in this track a strong female vocal would have been brilliant. This one track seemed to span many decades of techno/house and that impressed me. Archie, don’t hold yourself back fam! Do it!
For those who may be like me, the ‘300’ in the “Brutal S3lf C0ntr0l” didn’t actually mean anything. But add some female vocals to that track with lyrics using aspects the movie 300 as a metaphor for spiritual warfare or warring against the flesh or any other biblical principle you can derive from the film and I think you’d have a monster track. Just saying bro.
So outside of some technical production elements and an alluring delivery, the only other thing lacking was any real depth. I know, popular music rarely gets deep with their music and lyrics. But I found a lot of the topics, lyrics, etc., to be very, well, basic. There may be a legitimate argument against my assessment and reasoning, but a song like “Grace & Mercy” could go so much further than, “…Father I pray that you forgive us for we are crook/ let us seek after your face, let us open your book /…” Again, maybe it’s just me saying, but I want much, much more than that in content and quality.
In the end I will give credit to Archie for one really exceptional thing… I love that artwork.
To quote All In The Family/Archie Bunker’s Place, “Aawwwww Archieee.”
Keep “Joy Steppin” fam!
- Music: 7 of 10
- Flow / Delivery: 4 of 10
- Lyricism: 4 of 10
- Content: 7 of 10
- Creativity / Originality / Relevancy: 6 of 10
- Credibility / Confidence: 5 of 10
- Personality / Character: 7 of 10
- Presentation Quality: 9 of 10
- Overall Production Quality: 4 of 10
- Potential Impact: 3 of 10