Title: Abandoned Hope
Label: Full Ride Music
Release Date: 3/23/12
Reviewer: Josh Burkey
- Abandoned Hope (Intro)
- Never Would Have Made It
- Hold Us Down ft. Thi’sl
- U Rydin It ft. Corey Paul and Pro
- One Step Closer
- Give It to Them ft Dre Murray, Corey Paul and Lapo
- Teenage Mother ft. Stephanie Wilson
- He Rose
- Ride ft. Canon and Corey Paul
- 10 20 LIFE
- Say It Wit Yo Chest (Upside Down Me)
- Ooo You ft. Corey Paul
- Never Stops ft. 007 & Corey Paul
- What Will It Take From Me
- Take Off ft. Corey Paul
- Light Up the World
It’s never easy bringing out a debut record or being new to an established scene. It will always be a rough ride. This brings us to the debut album from Christian rapper, Reconcile. The album is Abandoned Hope. It has a very strong start, however falls off very quickly. The album features quite a lineup of impressive guest rappers including Thi’sl, Pro, Corey Paul and more. The album opens up on “Abandoned Hope (Intro).” The listener can expect to get very pumped for this rest of this album, just by this one song. Reconcile offers something in this song we don’t see much in the Christian rap scene nowadays. Towards the end of this song, we hear what sounds like an invitation call to come to Christ. He is standing his ground early on in the album. This is done in such a beautiful way to, I might add.
The album continues with “Never Would Have Made It”. Unfortunately, this track features a very out of place gospel singer. It demonstrates to the listener that Reconcile is dedicated to wanting to experiment. Unfortunately, this track doesn’t demonstrate it well. The biggest letdown of this album is perhaps, the organization of the songs. I know it sounds weird but in listening to Hope you’ll understand why. Reconcile takes all the high energy songs and presents them first to the listener. Takes a lot of the slower songs, the ballads in this sense and puts them towards the end of the album. Which is unfortunate because by the time the listener gets to the 11th track, they’re hyped up and then let down. This serves almost as boredom for the listener.
This record however does hold its own with some gems that do show Reconcile’s diversity. Including a string bridge on the track, “Hold Us Down”, which also features label mate Thi’sl. The group effort on “Give It to Em”, reminds the listener of Lecrae’s “116 Clique”. This is a very impressive song and definite highlight for Hope. Reconcile clearly has a passion that any new listener can hear. No track showcases this better than “Say It Wit Yo Chest (Upside Down Me)”. In the book of Acts, Peter is crucified. He tells them, he is not worthy to be crucified right side up because he wasn’t worthy to die the same death Jesus died. So, he is crucified upside down. This is exactly the subject matter of “Say It Wit Yo Chest (Upside Down Me).” His boldness and faith is so heavily overwhelming on this track, it leaves the listener actually wanting the song to be longer.
I have no idea why it has become so customary in Christian Rap culture to start to dedicate a song to your wife. Of course, Reconcile is on this current craze on the song, “Ooo You (ft. Corey Paul)”. Every song that I’ve come into contact with that deals with this subject in Christian rap market is always very corny. This song is no different: cheesy lyrics but still holds a very solid beat to serve as his undertone.
The biggest highlight of this album is oddly enough a stripped down piano ballad. “What Will It Take From Me” completely just bares the soul of Reconcile. Featuring beautifully harmonized R&B vocals and intensely passionate rapping, this track shows how much Reconcile is really capable of.
OVERALL: Abandoned Hope has its gems including “What Will It Take From Me”, “Say It Wit Yo Chest (Upside Down Me)” and “Abandoned Hope (Intro)”. The album offers glimpses of his abilities and capabilities as an artist, but feels like it often falls short. It almost feels like it is an attempt to make more of a one-sided album versus exploring how far he can diversify him as an artist. The organization of songs makes this album lose points just for the way that it is presented. I don’t think it was a good idea to make all the fast songs come first and end on slow songs. This album is definitely worth checking out! Reconcile definitely has talents to become a big name in this game, just needs to diversify himself as an artist and learn to experiment in the future.
RIYL: T-Bone, Tedashii, Sho Baraka, Thi’sl