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JFH Staff Review




dc Talk
Free At Last - The Music: 10th Anniversary



Artist Info: Discography
Album length: 27 tracks: 62 minutes, 41 seconds
Street Date: December 17, 2002


dc Talk's Free at Last changed the landscape of Contemporary Christian music forever. Never had an album quite like this ever been released in the realm of Christian music. Free at Last rocked Christian youth with its style and sound, but the lyrics were almost unmatched. The album spent an industry record of 34 weeks at number one, and gained the group unprecedented success. Ten years since its histroic release, comes a tribute album to the record-breaking record. But the question is, "after all these, how does it sound?"

Free at Last jumpstarts with "Luv is a Verb," which talks about love as an action and mixes its message with an unbeatable funk sound. Right after "Luv is a Verb" ends, Toby jumps right into "That Kinda Girl" with a fast-paced rap break. This track addresses the Proverbs 31 woman and is one of the strongest tracks on the album. "Jesus is Just Alright" comes next, and is another solid upbeat track. "Say the Words" slows it down, but is no doubt another fantastic song. "Socially Acceptable" keeps the music going. "Socially" features Kevin and Michael on vocals, but Toby still breaks it down with his signature raps.

The old hymn "Free at Last" is served up next. The song features a choir, and Toby rapping the verses. This is no doubt a huge twist from the original, but this version is a standout on the album. "Time Is..." follows, and is a rock filled anthem talking about why we need not waste our opportunities for Christ in this world. "The Hardway" may be the best song on the disc. It is an ode to prison life and all three Talkers sing vocals on this inspiring track. "Lean On Me" is the next musical offering. Although done thousands of different ways before, the dc Talk version is one of the best, as it is filled with rap verses and beautiful vocals. "I Don't Want It" addresses sexual purity before marriage, which is a difficult subject, but dc Talk handles it with grace. "Word to the Father" is the final full-length track, and is a prayerful song from the dc Talk crew. The music ends with Michael's soulful singing of "Jesus is Just Alright" in reprise form. This slow ballad is a wonderful end to a fantastic album.

When the music fades, this 10th Anniversary re-release features all three members reminiscing about Free at Last. This portion of the album is wonderful for all dc Talk fans to listen to, as it gives us insight on the making of Free at Last. When the album finally ended, commentary and all, I was still amazed by the caliber of this album. It surely sounds as good now as it did back in 1992.

JFH Reader Review: Review date: 5/26/08, written by Micah Melling for Jesusfreakhideout.com

 

JFH Staff's Additional 2 Cents


While Free At Last - The Music: 10th Anniversary is the ideal version of the famed record to pick up, particularly for the remastered music and commentary from the band, the record also contains an awful remix of "The Hardway," reimagining it as a dance track instead of the slow and melancholy mix from the original (Ironically, in the behind the scenes talk, Toby remarks that the remix "killed it," but although he didn't mean that negatively, he couldn't have used a more appropriate description). Considering the theme of the song, giving it a more upbeat mix just doesn't seem to fit. If you want the record in its purest form, the initial release is the way to go, but fans who can find a good deal on the re-release might want to pick it up for some good old fashioned reminiscing. We'll probably never find another band quite like dc Talk ever again... - 5/27/08, John DiBiase

 

 

CD

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. Record Label: Forefront Records
. Album length: 27 tracks: 62 minutes, 41 seconds
. Street Date: December 17, 2002
. Buy It: Amazon.com

  1. Luv Is A Verb
  2. That Kinda Girl
  3. Greer
  4. Jesus Is Just Alright
  5. Say The Words
  6. WDCT
  7. Socially Acceptable
  8. Free At Last
  9. Time Is...
  10. The Hardway
  11. 2 Honks & A Negro
  12. Lean On Me
  13. Testimony
  14. I Don't Want It
  15. Will Power
  16. Word 2 The Father
  17. Jesus Is Just Alright (Reprise)
  18. The Hardway (Revisited)
  19. A Look Back...At Last (Intro)
  20. A Look Back...At Last (Part 1)
  21. A Look Back...At Last (Part 2)
  22. A Look Back...At Last (Part 3)
  23. A Look Back...At Last (Part 4)
  24. A Look Back...At Last (Part 5)
  25. A Look Back...At Last (Part 6)
  26. A Look Back...At Last (Part 7)
  27. A Look Back...At Last (Part 8)
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