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Real Lyfe – “Culture Clash: World vs Word”
Released: 2011
Reviewed by: Ed Welch
Rating: 5.5 (Out of 10)
[xrr rating=5.5/10]

For an album that’s titled Culture Clash, I would expect a “bigger” introduction to hit me and bring that clash to reality from a listener’s prospective.  Bigger doesn’t necessarily mean loud or fast, but something musically that pulls me in emotionally.  I didn’t get that.  Real Lyfe starts out this project with the title track and I must admit that I have a personal preference that a title track should be off the chain.  In my opinion, the title track of an album should be one of the best songs on the album.  I mean, it’s supposed to be the epitome of what the entire album is about.  In short, I was disappointed.  Ok, ok I’ll move on.

“Live Like Him” has a nice/catchy hook that can get you singing along and the track is “OK”, but the main thing lacking is a quality delivery of the lyrics.  Real Lyfe doesn’t give much variation in how he says his lyrics, so the increasing number of people with ADD-like (Attention Deficit Disorder) tendencies will be caught day-dreaming during the verses or just skipping this song altogether.

I hate to say this, but that just about sums up this album.  Some tracks are better than others.  “Not Going Back” has catchy music attached to it, but I still end up not truly engaged in what’s going on.  He switches up the lyrical style in “Devotion” a little bit and even adds a little singing (auto-tune) to his verse.  I appreciate that, but the auto-tune wasn’t crisp and outside of that it’s back to the monotone lyrics.  “Overcome” is catchy as well, with a good tempo and feel to it.  I like the beat for “Rock For Christ”, but the hook (especially the first half of it) didn’t take the song to that next level.  On “Talkers and Walkers” Tha Future added some flavor to the track, but then he got off beat with his flow.  His energy and lyrical style makes me more forgiving (that’s what high energy can do for you)…but he was still off beat.  Sorry…

The production on this album is actually pretty good. Real Lyfe’s voice did not match the intensity of the music, though.  If an artist’s voice has little variation and excitement, their wordplay and production has to be through the roof and even then it’s still hardly acceptable.  This project really has a great message to it, but lacks the level of quality in these other areas to make this album “great”.  I hate to say all of this, but I have to be honest.  You have a good album when I stop reviewing and just start enjoying.  I never got to that point with this project.

I can sense Real Lyfe’s passion and I pray he’s not discouraged by this review.  The message is great.  I like a lot of the musical ideas here and I really do see a lot of potential (I’m not just saying that).  I would like to hear more passion and variation in his voice and lyrical delivery.  The production is headed in the right direction and is the strongest part of this project.  Remember, we (Holy Culture) are not comparing these Christian Hip-Hop CDs to other CHH.  We are looking at all music.  When the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of God sets up a standard against them.  This way it truly is a clash of cultures, instead of a flood of corruption.  Keep coming with it bro.  But hey, everybody is a critic.  I’m just the guy who wrote the review.  Peace and much love.

Comprehensive Ratings:

Music                                       7
Flow                                        6
Lyricism                                   4
Content                                    8
Creativity/etc.                          5
Credibility/Confidence          5
Personality                                5
Presentation Quality                  4
Overall Production                    7
Potential Impact                        4

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