RELEASE DATE: DECEMBER 20, 2011
rom the Depths is a free download album (though to be fair is the size of an EP) from the Christian Rap group Exodus Movement. These Oklahoma natives have released five albums and have a sixth album, reDefinition due out early this year. With the group releasing albums since 2002 one would expect a solid mature release by veteran artists and From the Depths is exactly that. This a group with an irresistable love for Hip Hop and Soul, and it is evident in the craftsmanship of this album.
Exodus Movement for those unfamiliar, relies heavily on the more classic elements of Hip Hop, Soul infused beats, back to basic drum kits, and lyricism. This is not the Christian equivalent to Wale or any of the new school secular rappers, the band feels straight out of the mid-90′s when Hip Hop was the king. Thankfully Exodus Movement pulls off this sound perfectly, with every member displaying talented passionate lyricism.
“Mighty to Save” is an admirable song but it is also the song that feels like the worse song on the album. While the entire album relies on accompaniment that is not the norm for Rap this particular merger between Gospel and Christian Rap gives off a strange feeling of wrongness. The technical side of the song sounds fine, they did not ruin the beat and did a good job lyrics it just feels a bit abrupt for being the opening track on the album.This is not a merging of sounds that the average Christian Rap fan would necessarily expect and the song would do better with a smoother transition or being placed in elsewhere on the album.
“I Need You” is a great song that has a beat straight from the heyday of Soul music and the song has a great Neosoul vibe that is impossible to dislike. It is silk smooth, mellow and slow with perfect lyrics that make this song impossible to resist. It is the type of track that will stay on playlists and mixes long after this release leaves regular circulation. Just the hook, ‘I need you, for the rest of my life’, is so simple and mellow it reaffirms what Christian Rap, and indeed Rap/Neosoul can and should be. Hooks are meant to be simple but infectious thoughts, even if not super original.
“Lift Me Up” has a nice slow, piano driven beat that works perfectly with the fast lyricism at the forefront of this song. The song has a definite West Coast slight G-Funk feel that makes it hard not to reminisce about the secular Rap of the West Coast back in the day. This is the last track on the album and lyrically it feels like the group left the most intimate and some of the most powerful lyrics for last, it isn’t the best track on the album but it definitely feels like the most personal for Exodus Movement.
From the Depths is a great free download for those who love a more classic sound in Christian Rap. It is a irresistible sound for those who grew up in the 90′s with the East Coast/West Coast feud where fanciful dance beats and Autotune would seem to a horrendous affront to lyricism. For the few minutes or seconds it takes to download this release it is well worth it, even for fans with passing familiarity with the ‘old school’ sound of Rap on account of several of the songs are extremely addicting. For a promotional tool it is no doubt Exodus Movement will win many new fans with this free release.