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Christian artist tobyMac returned in February with his latest release, Tonight. While not groundbreaking, Tonight doesn’t fail to deliver a fair share of possible singles. Actually, “City on Our Knees” has already made a big impact on the sound waves. While he’s never released a sub par album, in reflection, I found myself underwhelmed by tobyMac’s 2007 release, Portable Sounds. tobyMac was used to following a formula on his albums, and he rarely strayed from it. But this time around, the songs on Tonight sound fresh, and they seem more accessible to non tobyMac/DC Talk fans.
On Tonight there are the fun crowd pleasers in the vein of “Boomin,” such as “Funky Jesus Music” and “ShowStopper,” albeit with less metal and more of a programmed sound. A soothing Caribbean pick-me-up that talks about our Father’s love is “Hold On.” There’s even the traditional appearance by TruDog, tobyMac’s son, who’s had a track on every one of his records since the beginning. This time TruDog offers his message “LoudNClear.”
On this album lead singers from Skillet and Relient K join tobyMac for two duets that yielded mixed results. “Tonight,” with Skillet’s John Cooper is surprisingly muted, but is easily the better of the two. “Wonderin” with Relient K’s Matthew Thiessen isn’t a bad song per se, but it doesn’t offer either artists’ unique sound, nor does it offer a blended tune based on both artists’ individual styles. Instead, it’s left somewhere in the middle of nowheresville
Overall, Tonight is a worthy follow-up to tobyMac’s last project. It’s stronger on spiritual substance than on being trendy, as tobyMac now, more than ever, isn’t hiding the importance of knowing our Lord and Savior.