Title: FREAKED! A Gotee Tribute To DC Talk’s “Jesus Freak”
Review By: Josh IndieVision
01. The Showdown – So Help Me God
02. The Gotee Brothers (feat. Ayiesha Woods & John Reuben) – Colored People
03. 4th Avenue Jones – Jesus Freak
04. Sarah Kelly – What If I Stumble?
05. House Of Heroes – Day By Day
06. Mr. Tobin
07. Relient K – Between You And Me
08. Fighting Instinct – Like It, Love It, Need It
09. John Reuben & The Gotee Choir – Jesus Freak Reprise
10. Storyside:B – In The Light
11. Liquid – What Have We Become?
12. Family Force 5 – Mind’s Eye
13. The Gotee Brothers Interlude
14. Paul Wright & Ayiesha Woods – Between You And Me
15. Chasing Victory – Jesus Freak
DC Talk was one of the premier groups in Christian music during the 90’s. That fact only grew with the release of Jesus Freak. I personally owned and very much enjoyed that album as a youngster and can still respect the fact that it was a great album. Enter Gotee Records, which was started by TobyMac and Todd Collins, who have decided the time had come to offer a tribute to this album which took the industry by storm.
Cover albums usually have one or two good tracks and usually end up a huge waste of money. I’ve listened to my fair share and most of the bands dishonor the bands with their lame covers. Few bands have the ability to take a great track from era’s past and mold it to fit their style and emotion. The majority of bands simply replay the track as is and to me that’s an extreme waste of my time. I really wondered if Gotee/Mono Vs. Stereo could honor “Jesus Freak”, the album that marked the top of DC Talk’s career, with worthwhile covers…
One of my favorite groups starts off the disc. The Showdown present a Metallica-like version of “So Help Me God”. This is everyone’s first glimpse of the newly focused band and their growth away from metal and instead reviving southern rock! I wasn’t sure how well The Showdown would fit this album but they pulled it off well and made the song their own.
House of Heroes version of “Day By Day” sticks to the feel of the original but does change it up a bit in the verses. But for the most part it’s just a rehashing. Relient K did a great job with “Between You And Me”. The original had a bass and drum led musical backbone but Relient K, showing the rock roots, bring a rockier guitar driven version.
Family Force 5, coming as no surprise to me, were a standout on this album and definitely took “Mind’s Eye” into their funky world. I’d say almost that they made it too much their own and it’s hard to recognize the true song.
Wrapping up the album is Chasing Victory who have redone “Jesus Freak”. They, like fellow rockers in The Showdown, have done the song justice by staying true to the basic structure but have clearly made it their own with thicker guitars and screamed vocals at times. Clearly, they have added to the song, as it lasts over 6 minutes.
The majority of the rest of the tracks I didn’t touch on, are simple remakes of the original. While definitely showing each band’s personal flavor, it does nothing to capture the track for their own. It’s like going to a bar to check out the local cover band. If that’s your thing then you’ll love this album.
“So Help Me God” (The Showdown), “Day By Day” (House Of Heroes), “Jesus Freak” (Chasing Victory)
Overall Rating: The album is a good listen as the original indeed was, but if you’re looking for a complete new version of the songs, look elsewhere. Just a handful really take hold of the tracks. “FREAKED!” will most likely sell extremely well and truly is an enjoyable listen. While thankfully avoiding the usual cover album problem of plain old, horrible tracks, “FREAKED!” does have many tracks that are just copies of the original. I think it’s a great idea that will allow kids from another generation, who weren’t familiar with them in their hayday, to hear why DC Talk was as big as they were.