Review: TobyMac – Tonight

Artist: TobyMac
Album: Tonight
Genre: Pop/Rock/Hip Hop
Label: ForeFront

Having been making music as long, if not longer than I’ve been alive, TobyMac has become somewhat of a musical phenomenon. Having seen mainstream exposure through his [amazing] work in now defunct Christian group DC Talk, Mac is no stranger to the National scene. However, even after all these years, he’s sold millions of records, won countless awards, and stayed mainly out of Top 40 rotation. His solo career has seen three extremely successful and diverse release and his recently release fourth record, Tonight, looks to be no different.

Staring off with the undeniably catchy “Tonight” which features John Cooper from Skillet, the album instantly gets into a recurring theme about continuing on, being strong, and standing up for your beliefs. The commercial Christian radio market has been flooded by this track and “City on Its Knees,” but I think there’s a lot more hits to be found on this record. While “Funky Jesus Music” feels a bit too off the beaten path for the record strong potential singles like “Hold On” and “Start Somewhere” make it seem like a little more than a footnote when thinking about the record as a whole. Mac sticks to his formula of dancing between the power chord driven rock and Latin/Reggae influenced pop with the occasional 808 to keep things funky. It’s dynamic and ever-changing, but rarely feels forced or awkward in transition and that in itself is something to applaud.

Having become a household name in the Christian market and his 73,000+ debut week sales with this release, it’s obvious TobyMac isn’t going anywhere for quite some time. While Tonight sticks to a similar formula as Mac’s previous releases, that’s nothing to complain about. By continually pushing himself and in turn, his listeners, to adapt to new styles and ideas, TobyMac has created a musical landscape that while not always successful, is always entertaining and fresh.

P.S. For the record, I would give a limb for a DC Talk reunion. So, while Tonight is an impressive release, I will always hold out hope for another Welcome To The Freak Show tour.

Score: 8/10
Review written by: James Shotwell

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the founder of Under The Gun Review. He loves writing about music and movies almost as much as he loves his two fat cats. He's also the co-founder of Antique Records and the Marketing Coordinator for Haulix. You should probably follow him on Twitter.

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