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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

JSon City Lights Review

Label- Lampmode Recordings

Json’s third studio release is the latest installment in what is for me a great story on the benefits of God’s Mercy and Grace. His story is one that I would love to tell but time and space will not permit me. When I was told that Lampmode had signed him and re-released his sophomore album “Life on Life” I was elated because I felt he deserved it. His addition to the Lampmode roster is a testament to the God given ability in him as a rapper and is also amazing seeing how different (in style) he is from his label mates say Hazakim and Stephen the Levite.
City Lights is a project that calls on all believers to get their Matthew 5:16 on in whatever part of the world they find themselves in and this call is made using a bunch of great jams, Json’s sick flow, storytelling ability and some awesome production. Some top notch guest artists contribute too.
As for standout songs there are quite a few, something we’ll have to get used to as far as the St Louis native is concerned so we’ll just explore a few of them especially the ones that caught my ear the most. “Crank it Up” with the very much on the rise PRo is simply ill, a song that will get you amped up on the idea of letting Christ shine through your life. “Peephole” and “Hustle City” give us an account of grimy St Louis, Tennessee ripe for some Salvation. There are awesome Jesus pointers like “Love like This” with Thi’sl and Jai, “Hope You See” asks us if God’s transforming power is at work in Json’s life, my answer? An emphatic yes, then there’s “Goon” featuring Thi’sl and AD3 and “City Lights” the title track with Flame and Trubble. Two radio friendly and yet evangelical songs which I expect to be remembered a long time from now. Of course, Json doesn’t let us down from the storytelling aspect (obviously a Lampmode thing) with “Unexpected Happenings” and “What I Am” alongside R-Swift are compelling stories. The best story and probably the best song on the album “Parent Me” with the beautiful production and hook by J.R. is a song that touches on the issue of parental neglect whether as a result of work or church. A simple beat and poignant Json lyrics make for a goose pimple inducing listen.
The theme of the album is not lost once on the album and there’s even a skit or interlude that just sums everything up, “I am a City Light” that features people from across the world, from Uganda to Canada to Russia!! I should add that Flame’s singing skills shouldn’t go unnoticed as he seems to know how to take hooks very effortlessly. Top notch production from guys like Big Juice makes this album a definite keeper, one of the top albums of the year. 4 solid stars…

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