Music Review: “Dubbed and Freq’d” TobyMac (and others)

Title:Dubbed and Freq’d (a remix project)
Artist: TobyMac (and others)
Genre: Rock/Hip-Hop/Dance

iTunes / YouTube / Spotify

Tracklisting:

  1. Made to Love (Telemitry Remix)
  2. No Ordinary Love (G-Man Remix)
  3. Showstopper (Capital Kings Remix)
  4. City on Our Knees (Golden Snax Remix)
  5. Tonight (Capital Kings Remix)
  6. Hold On (Telemitry Remix)
  7. Get Back Up (Broke Remix)
  8. Boomin (UTB Remix) (Featuring Shonlock)
  9. Lose My Soul (Shoc Remix)
  10. Captured (KP Remix)
  11. Ignition (Hot Wired Remix)
  12. Start Somewhere (X-Zach’d Remix)

Review: Taking well-known, and well-loved songs, and submitting them for a remix treatment can be a risky prospect. There are those who cherish the originals and cannot bear to hear any other version than the definitive first one. There are remixes that can miss the meaning and heart of a track, leaving an incoherent mess that doesn’t flow. There are remixes that are nothing more than ramping up the drums’n’bass, adding a techno beat and looping the odd lyric.

Then there are remixes that make you sit bolt upright and re-assess the songs you know so well and hear them in a new way, maybe even picking up on the significance of lyrics that you know but never fully grasped.

For TobyMac fans a remix project is an exciting prospect, especially following the previous remixes of the “Momentum” and some of the “Portable Sounds” albums.

“Dubbed and Freq’d” takes tracks from “Portable Sounds” along with “Tonight” and hands them over to a bunch of folks to work their magic.

Now I must confess to being rather nervous as to what people would do to some of the tracks, especially as “Tonight” is a personal anthem of mine and “City On Our Knees” really stirs my heart… but there was still that excitement – especially as it is a new TobyMac release (although I really am getting desperate for a new full-on album – which I’ve just found out is coming out in August!!!!)

Kicking off with the classic “Made To Love”, mixed by Telemitry, you’re greeted by the familiar tune that’s become a popular concert anthem coupled with some nifty electronica and, yes, some added D’n’B – but that’s not a bad thing. It’s not overdone, and it doesn’t overpower the track. It’s a fresh twist that cleanses and refreshes the palate ahead of the audio feast that lies ahead.

“No Ordinary Love” has been given the Red Bull treatment, with an added dose of steroids. The track is faster, more clubby, and I honestly couldn’t tell you wether I prefer the original or this one. It’s seriously good and the vocal treatment, and added little riffs, elevate this song to a “No Ordinary Love 2.0”

The crowd-bouncer “Showstopper” is given a bit of spit-and-polish, but not as extensive an overhaul as several of the other tracks. It would be great at concerts though, just giving a new and exciting face-lift to really keep the fans on their toes.

The first of the big tests comes in track 4, “City On Our Knees”. It took a little while to grow on me as I’m afraid I fall into the “cherish” category with some songs, and yet this is a genius piece of work. Stripped back in many areas, and giving the vocals a real emphasis, this is ideal for a chillout session and also as a bit of a prayer-time backing. Yes there’s the ever-present D’n’B which won’t be to everyones tastes, but for a different twist on prayer music this really would work well – especially with youth or the young adults.

Without the vocals of Skillets John Cooper, the Capital Kings remix of “Tonight” probably represents my least favourite of the new mixes. It’s not that it’s bad, or even that it’s different to the original – it’s just lacking the added depth that came with the additional vocals from the Skillet frontman. It’s a good track that deserves its place on the collection, but it is the weakest in my opinion. Add in the original vocals, and return the punch that the original had in the chorus, and I really think this would be a masterpiece.

I’m not going to go through each of the remaining tracks individually in detail as the first 5 really do give a good sample of what to expect. So here’s a quick run through of some of them:

“Boomin'” – a chilled out, laid back version that almost contradicts the “Boomin’ out your stereo system” chorus but works in a really surprising way.

“Lose My Soul” kicks off with some sweet piano and is almost a ballad – one to add to a chill playlist!

“Start Somewhere” is full of swoops, sweeps and synths to begin with before kicking into an almost random mix of higher-tempo bits, alvin & the chipmunks lyrics in part and a staccato backing that ties in nicely with the whole “shots we’ve fired” vibe. Can’t help but think there’s a musical elephant in parts of it as well (take a listen and you’ll see what I mean :-D)

Would I recommend this? Oh Yeah! You can’t go wrong with this. Yeah some of the tracks don’t fully work, but your mileage may vary… at the end of the day this is another cracking remix project and deserves a place on your rotation!

Score: 4.5/5

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AboutMike

Love God, Love my Family, Love Petrol.

A Christian with a heart for worship and a passion to become the man I was created to be. A family man who loves his wife and kids and wants the best for them all and to see them all grow. A petrolhead who loves all kinds of motorsports from F1 to MotoGP, Touring Cars to open wheelers, Rally cars to grassroots.

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