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Freak (10th Anniversary Edition)
Artist: dc talk
Length: 27 tracks / 1 hour 54 mins
The original release of this disc is well-known, if not a Christian classic, having sold over two million copies. Given their blend of arty Kevin Max, with his distinctive vocal sound; Michael Tait, a rock man with a gospel background; and the streetwise TobyMac, dc talk had a limb in everyone's camp.
Though now remastered, this was a great album to start with, full of strong tunes carrying direct lyrics that deal with faith earthed in the real world.
"Just Between You and Me," for example, takes up Paul's advice not to go to sleep while still nursing a grievance, while "What If I Stumble" examines the responsibility of being Christian in a public role. The title track is a Christian anthem and elsewhere songs deal wittily and effectively with racism and cultural values.
Add the touch of humour on "Jesus Freak (Reprise)" and you have a well-rounded release.
The bonus disc rebuilds the complete album from live cuts, some complementary alternative versions, a demo and an instrumental track. Although rarely matching the sharpness of the original songs, generally these versions have something to offer.
If in doubt about the value, it also offers live covers of songs from U2 ("40"), The Beatles ('Help"), Larry Norman ("I Wish We'd All Been Ready") and REM, largely from the Freak Show releases.
While there is little new for fans who already own the original and the live DVD, this is an excellent first-time purchase that still sounds fresh.
Derek Walker 4/1/2007