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Trip Lee - 20/20

I'm usually wary when I have to review an artist's sophomore album. You could say that I'm afraid of what I'm going to find when I crack open the jewel case and slide the disc into my player. With a debut album, an emcee practically has their entire life to put together their project. This isn't so with a sophomore release, as more often than not it winds up being the weakest album of their career, with only a select few building upon what they did in their first project. Thankfully this sophomore album that I'm reviewing by Trip Lee is one of those rare exceptions that turns out to be better than their freshman release.

In his second go around, Trip Lee has his sight focused on God and finding ways in which he can help his listeners have a much clearer picture of this holy God. It is with this agenda in mind that this young and unashamed brother aptly titles his album 20/20. With 20/20, Trip Lee offers up a wide array of subject matter as he hits on topics such as: having a right view of the Lord, what it means to be intimate with God, the person of the Holy Spirit, finding ultimate pleasure in Christ alone, and the inexhaustible nature of God, just to name a few. Indeed, he wants you to have a very clear picture of the Lord by the time you've reached the end of his album.

Content wise, this is a very mature album from Trip Lee. Listening to this album, you would find it very difficult to believe that you're listening to a dude in his early twenties; but he has a very high level of spiritual maturity that surely surpasses his years on this earth. Most guys his age are in college trying to live it up, be popular, and be the center of attention. This is not so with Trip, as he tells you in "Superstar (Eyes off Me)" that he wants you to focus on God and His Word, and to take your eyes off him, unless you're looking at the Christ permeating through him. That's what this album is all about though, it's all about showing the glory of the Lord, whether he's talking about the uniqueness of God (Who Is Like Him?), the ministry of the Holy Spirit (Behold the Spirit), finding comfort in the Lord (Cling to You), or having your eyes opened to His truth (Eyes Open). There's no end to the biblical content that you'll find in this album and it'll take you a good number of spins and repeats to grasp all the truth that saturates this work of art.

From a purely musical standpoint, 20/20 is much improved over his debut album If They Only Knew. As an emcee, his lyricism and delivery have matured and he has found a way to better suit his voice to the beat that he's riding. No longer is he overstressing his voice, but it's very smooth and natural as he delivers his rhymes; this definitely made this album a much easier listen over his first one. There is also a very heavy dose of soul that is to be found on 20/20 that you don't really get in holy hip-hop; with his own smooth vocals, as well as those of J.R., Diamone, and Cam, he's able to present a very captivating musical experience, especially on tracks like "Relief" and "Intimacy," and "Who He Is." You will also struggle to find a shortage of trunk rattling bangers on this project as songs like "Real Vision" and "Satisfaction (Hedonist)" will keep you nodding your head for days. You also cannot forget the powerful musical accompaniment that provides the backdrop for Trip Lee's biblically inspired lyrics; every producer that lent a hand to this album did a terrific job of meshing their style with Trip's to provide a more than pleasant musical experience.

Overall, this is a very solid sophomore release from Trip Lee and 20/20 definitely accomplishes its intended goal of seeing the Lord clearer. If you don't walk away from this album with 20/20 vision of our Lord, then you need to take your spiritual blinders off and listen to this album again. As a side note, I'll admit that it took a minute for this album to grow on me, but the content and presentation are undeniable and Trip has a wealth of talent. If you enjoyed If They Only Knew, then you'll be more than pleased with 20/20 and the growth that he exhibits.

Oh yeah… I'm a hedonist! I seek my pleasure! That's it; I'm going to grab my Bible and read about the God of the Scriptures.

 

Release Date: May 20, 2008

Record Label: Reach Records

Track Listing

1. 20/20 Intro
2. Superstar (Eyes Off Me)
3. Real Vision
4. Inexhaustible
5. Who Is Like Him?
6. We Told Em
7. Cling To You
8. Relief
9. Behold the Spirit
10. Satisfaction (Hedonist)
11. Come Close
12. Who He Is
13. Intimacy
14. True Security
15. Eyes Open
16. Hip Hop

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