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Transparent “L.I.F.E. (Living In Favor Everyday)”
Released: 2009
Reviewed By: DJ Guardian
Committee Rating: 3.55 (of 5)
[xrr rating=3.55/5]

Those unfamiliar with Transparent can join me in those ranks, but don’t get angry at yourself for being behind the game.  Truth is Transparent has only really been on the mic since 2005, so his history is quite limited.  It would be quite easy to see right past him.  Those who are familiar with Transparent might be familiar with one or both of his pervious mixtapes which have garnered him some acclaim – and at least one tour of Australia.

With a touch of background done let’s get right into the cd. Hmm… never mind, let’s get back to the history because it’s more interesting – I know I have never had the opportunity to minister in Australia, heck, that’s dope!  Ok, ok, I know we got to talk about L.I.F.E. (Living In Favor Everyday) – “it’s more than a movement, it’s more than music… It’s a lifestyle.”   This comes from the title track, “L.I.F.E.”  I love the beat, the concept is dope and the sound commercial.  Although, I have to admit that as soon as I heard the end of the track “L.I.F.E.S.T.Y.L.E. lifestyle,” I couldn’t help but think… dag, that reminds me Drama and his military one-hit-wonder (“A.T.L.A.N.T.A. is where I S.T.AY…”).  This doesn’t mean that these two songs correlate whatsoever, in fact it is only in that last line and the odd vocal rasp that there is a resemblance. Then I remembered how much I dislike the over spelling of words in songs.  This happens again in “Radical” to my frustration.  Oh well.

Outside of the title track there really isn’t much else of any notoriety.  There is the nasally and occasionally off pitch feature vocalist C.O.G. on “Agape” who ‘overruns’ the track, but that’s not horribly important in the scheme of things, especially since it’s a decent track.  The lyrics and their message are solid and wholly God fearing showing the obvious effectiveness that Transparent can be as a minister as well as the effect that the Gospel has had in his own life –  and that’s really good.  However, there isn’t really anything new, unique, outstanding… there’s no WOW factor – as the industry so likes to term.  L.I.F.E. is just a very consistent, very average, Christ praising album that tries its best to mimic every popular sound out right now and some that are dated.

If there is any other stand out on this album it might be the rock guitar-lick laced “Passion.”  Now, that is how you do a proper melody with a heavy guitar!  The way the track opens is certainly top quality as well.  In fact, as a whole this might be the best track on the album, treating the concept of the crucifixion and its meaning in a far different way than I have ever heard or imagined would hear musically.  This track was aggressive, emotional, creative, commercial and yet blended sounds enough so as to be different.  This song continues to grow on me after every listen.  So I take back my previous comment, there was something else of notoriety.  I just wish there was more.

As far as a cool trend for Transparent would be his incorporation of live guitar riffs on several tracks.  If this is or becomes his signature then, good onya mate!  (That’s virtually the extent of my Aussie.)  As an idea of what tracks have a guitar riff of some kind: L.I.F.E., Passion, Navigation, H.U.S.T.L.E., Radical, Feels Good, P.U.S.H., Transparent and P.O.M.E. which is the majority of the album.

On the down side, apart from the guitar, on most of the tracks it seems like I’ve heard this style a million times and these same type of productions a million times from both the secular and Christian markets including G-Notes, Cheno Lyfe, Young Joc and Young Jeezy.   At some point in time it’s going to be played out, like now, and you’ve got to find your own sound and something new… innovate, don’t regurgitate.  Too many other cats have already done it, and did it better.

Ultimately, this album is forgettable.  For whatever reason I was never really impressed with this album.  Everything sounds very polished and seems very relevant, but I was never really drawn in by the songs, never wowed, never impressed.  However, everything sounded very familiar.  There are only two real standout tracks where in only one really gets me excited at all, “Passion.”  Most of the album fells the same with the same elements, production and desired ‘over-commercialized’ sound throughout.  I don’t know what really could have made this album any better but being a bit different than the pack and vary the tracks a bit more, maybe even a bit of lyricism.  From the layout of the tracks, this album is probably much better in a live performance.  For that reason, maybe you too could catch Transparent spitting acid* on his next Aussie tour!?  Bring me back an Alligator** pear fam!

*acid in Aussie is “the good word or the truth.”
**Alligator pear is actually an avocado


Review Committee
Review by: DJ Guardian

Rated by:
Anonymous Admin – Avg Rating: 3.83
B.Davis – Avg Rating: 4.35
DJ Guardian – Avg Rating: 3.3

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