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The Journal Vol. 1

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Album Review

Producer and rapper Virgil Byrd, as Tru-Life, has been a part of the Cross Movement posse since the Christian-oriented label's formation in the '90s, but The Journal, Vol. 1 is his first solo album. As a hip-hop album, it has the clean, polished sound of a mainstream effort along the lines of a Jay-Z production: in-your-face drums, booty-shaking basslines, R&B-style sung hooks, that sort of thing. However, as Tru-Life points out in the opening "Just Listen," this is an outspokenly Christian-themed album, with lyrics that testify to the power of the Lord in no uncertain terms. The deliberate subtlety of much CCM — based upon the idea that suggestion is more persuasive than preaching — has little room on The Journal, Vol. 1. While this may potentially turn off some possible listeners, it shows an admirable courage of convictions, one which Tru-Life emphasizes in the passionate delivery of his earnest, emphatic, but not self-righteous lyrics.

The Journal Vol. 1, Tru-Life
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