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Released: 2011

Reviewed by: Zach Rohman

Rating: 6.9 (Out of 10)

The Empire is here, but this isn’t Star Wars. This album includes 4 artists that came together for this album. The album is called “Now or Never” and has a fairly good concept. They are a group of people or nations (Christians) who are ruled over by our Emperor (God). It’s a slightly cheesy concept but it’s still a decent one. It’s a concept with its problems, but a pretty good concept overall. That’s exactly how I would describe this album. It’s a pretty good album with some problems.

A.Ward, Voicebox, Blacksheep and Visbay are the four artists that make up “The Empire”. One of the main problems with the album itself was the fact that it was hard to identify which artists were on which track. Personally the artists were fairly new to me, so it would have been helpful for each song to say what artist of “The Empire” it was featuring. So while I couldn’t tell you which artists did the best on the album, I can tell you I thought all of them had real talent. They all had good word play and overall they were all pretty good. That’s how the album started off too, pretty good.

The album starts off with a spoken word. It was pretty good, but nothing too special. It did build up to the album though. After the spoken Word I felt like something good would be coming and boy was I right! The second track, “Now or Never”, represented the album title very well. What a great song to start off the album. The production was great, and the word play was fantastic. Right off the bat the album was hot like pizza out of the oven. Okay, so I’m cheesy (like pizza out of the oven), but don’t take it out on this album, because this album was pretty hot. More tracks really stood out to me also. “Who is HE to You” was a great song with great production and lyrics. “My GOD” also has some pretty hot production and a nice feel to the track, and it was a great praise track to praise our GOD. Did I mention “Singles Anthem”? That song is bananas! “Distracted” is also a pretty good song as well. It is very creative, but there were some songs that weren’t quite as good.

Even though I feel almost every song was at least “okay” there were still many songs with some problems. The song “Favor” had a chopped and screwed chorus. The problem I had with that was how clear it was. It was hard to understand what was being said.

The song “I Know” would have been a fantastic song, but there were problems with the chorus. There was such a great effect on the chorus, where the guy was repeating everything said, and it sounded fantastic. Boy, was I getting pumped up! But the repeating effect stopped. If it would have continued throughout the chorus, then this song would easily be one of my favorite songs of the year, but instead of it being a great song, it ended up just being “pretty good”.

In the song “Spring Cleaning” four words almost put me to sleep. “This is spring cleaning”. Those words were said in such a boring way. It was a decent song, but the chorus was lacking because of how boring it was.

The song “Empire State of Mind” was a great song. Once again a small problem plagued it though. This would have been a fantastic concert song, and a song that would get everyone going. The only problem was, once again, on the chorus. The chorus needed louder ad-libs.  This took a lot of energy out of a good song and once again took a “fantastic” song and made it a “pretty good” song.

“Read your Bible” was a song that I thought was decent, but once again was plagued by chorus problems. There are three words that kept this song from being as great as it could have been, “Read your Bible”. Before you stone me, hear me out. I love those words to death. I love how he was encouraging us to dig in the text. My problem was with how those words were said. Those three words were said in an extremely corny way, and turned this song down a notch.

I hope these comments don’t get you down on purchasing the album. These are small problems with the album, but in the bigger picture this is a pretty good album overall. The message is great, the production is great, and every guy who is on the album can spit. All of them have good voices, and all of them have good word play. The whole album has a good message and will have you seeking to glorify our great God more and more. Yes, the album has some minor problems, but the problems are just that…minor. There are some albums that you buy and you think “man, this wasn’t worth it”. I can’t tell you for sure if this album would be worth it for you, but I can tell you I enjoyed the album. Preview the album and check it out. It’s definitely nice.

God bless!

Comprehensive Ratings:

1. Music – 6

2. Flow/Delivery – 7

3. Lyricism – 8

4. Content – 7.5

5. Creativity/Originality/Relevancy – 6.5

6. Credibility & Confidence – 7.5

7.  Personality & Character – 7

8.  Presentation Quality – 6

9.  Overall Production Quality – 7.5

10. Potential Impact – 6

Overall Rating: 6.9

President/CEO of The Corelink Solution and Holy Culture

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