LABEL: LAMP MODE RECORDINGS
RELEASE DATE: JULY 24, 2012
It has been 7 years since we last heard from Timothy Brindle. After releasing his sophomore project, Killing Sin, there was a public announcement from his label, Lamp Mode Recordings, that due to “an ongoing pattern of sin” he would be stepping down from public ministry. Being one of the first Christian Hip-Hop artists to step down due circumstances of this kind, the news came as a shock for many fans.
Many have been awaiting the day of Brindle’s return to the music scene, and with his third release, The Restoration, I think fans will get exactly what they have been wanting.
The Restoration acts as a 19 track Gospel presentation with some of Brindle’s personal experiences interwoven throughout. As with his earlier work, fans can expect top-notch lyricism, well thought out rhyme schemes, and lyrics that are saturated with Scripture. One gift that Timothy Brindle has always possessed and displays here is an ability to create imagery with his words of man’s sin and God’s goodness which help the message sink deep into the gut of the listener.
This album seems to work best as one complete unit. As with any good presentation of the Gospel, the full narrative must be addressed. God’s Holiness and standard, man’s sinfulness and inability to meet that standard, and the good news that God took it upon Himself to reconcile man back to Himself. Without all of these elements, either man is doomed or Christ’s sacrifice is not really necessary. All that to say this album must be taken as a whole. Brindle really takes his time to expose the ugliness of man’s sin with songs such as, “The Darkness of My Heart” and “I’m the Problem.” If one just hears these songs as stand-alone tracks, they would undoubtedly walk away discouraged and depressed. But the truth of these songs is necessary in order to really appreciate songs like “The Compassion of Christ” and “The Great Exchange.”
One thing that surprised me about The Restoration is that apart from “Means of Grace” and “The Daily Gospel,” this album is pretty dark, musically. Given the title of the project, I somewhat expected the album to sound more “from the mountaintop.” Instead, it really walks the listener through the devastating seriousness of sin and the required sacrifice for man to be reconciled back to God. The music seemed to fit well with the weighty themes of the album.
There are a few things on this project that keep this album slightly less than perfect. The production on “The Pharisee and the Tax Collector” is not by any means bad, but seems a bit out of place with the rest of the album. Also, the production on “Christ Restores” is a little too old-school for my taste, but the lyrics are so good, I still find the track enjoyable. There are quite a number of speaking clips which come in the form of either a sermon snippet, interlude, or monologue. I loved these forms of expression with the first few listens because it can really add to the idea the artist is trying to convey. But after listening to the album several times, I find myself wanting to skip some of that and get right to the music.
Despite these few critiques, Not to mention, there are plenty of features to keep the listener interested. For those who enjoy intentionally listening to an album, this one is certainly worth your attention.