I am a lover, connoisseur, and self-proclaimed aficionado of music. My iPod has about seventy five thousand different genres of music in it (slight exaggeration). So when I received Joey’s Dream’s Mold Me to review, the fact that it isn’t a rap album wasn’t really a big deal to me. This album would fall under the Christian Contemporary Music (CCM) category (if you are one to categorize music, lol). Upon first listening, nothing too crazy stands out… until you realize that Joey’s Dream aka Sarpong Boateng, aka Joey L, aka Joey Lawrence, is actually Joey The Jerk from the illustrious Cali underground hip hop group L.A. Symphony. Now it has your full attention (and a more scrutinizing ear). Ok, so we’ve seen rap artists drop the backpacks and mean mugs to croon on the mic (Andre 3000, Mos Def, Ceelo Green, Toby Mac, etc.). But those artists (with the exception of Toby Mac) kept the “sound” pretty much the same and just altered the “delivery.” Joey totally changed everything on this one.
“Experimental” starts the album off and is lyrically constructed more like a rap verse, maybe the last remnant of “The Jerk’s” transformation to the “Dream.” “Piece of Sunshine” is a collection of seemingly unrelated thoughts, more like a daydream or mind wandering session penned and recorded. The music is kind of “dreamy” also, so it fits well within the context of the track. He goes all out on “Poetry in Motion” leaving all old roots behind with this pop rock style track. Still keeping with the Symphony’s practice of superstar features, Matt Dally from Superchick lends his vocals (and possibly his bassist chops) in support on this track. A heavy effect driven song, the lyrics are somewhat masked with all the processing that’s on the vocals.
“Mold Me” is your classic/typical CCM track with friendly guitar strums and a steady drum beat in the background. Giving himself to God’s direction and promising to trust and believe, Joey’s Dream yields to God’s will on this track – focusing on learning to love. Lyrically the song seems to be his most personal on the album speaking directly from the heart.
“Why” is your socially conscious track reflecting on the day-to-day dealings of your average everyday “Joe” (no pun intended, lol) , sitting on a “Dave-Matthews-Band-est” style instrumental, Joey reflects on how we as Christians need to show more love and concern towards the people and events in the world today. A similar track “Wake Me Up” calls for Christians to live in Christ’s power that they have and be a revolutionary impact in the world we live in.
I don’t know who “Sierra” is, but this track in undoubtedly my favorite of the album. Simple and honest, the track features just an acoustic guitar and talks of goodbyes, loneliness, pain, and the hope of reuniting in the future.
I’m not one to stifle an artist’s creativity or frown on one’s attempt in expressing themselves as long as it comes from the heart and is not an attempt to conform or sell records. I believe that this album came from Joey’s heart with no ill intentions other than to express himself while releasing the music that was in his heart. Though well intentioned, this album misses the mark both vocally and content wise. Joey’s vocals could use a lot more work (though he did pretty decent on “Sierra”). I failed to notice a theme or what he was trying to “say” with this album, the lyrics were for the most part pretty generic and “safe.” For your average “hearer” of music I think the album will do alright. After a few more vocal lessons and more experience writing song structured melodies, I believe we may hear more improved music from Joey’s Dream in the near future.
- Music – 5 of 10
- Flow/Delivery – 4 of 10
- Lyricism – 3 or 10
- Content – 4 of 10
- Creativity/Originality/ Relevancy – 3 of 10
- Credibility/Confidence – 7 of 10
- Personality/Character – 5 of 10
- Presentation Quality – 5 of 10
- Overall Production Quality – 6 of 10
- Potential Impact – 4 of 10