Album Review: Playdough – Hotdoggin’

Playdough - Hotdoggin'

Hip-Hop is creepin’ up from the underground… and it’s a GOOD GOOD thing.

Hip-Hop artist Playdough is back with his first solo album in 5 years. A constant feature in the hip-hop collective Deepspace5 Playdough has been adding colour, flavour and cleverness to the underground hip-hop scene for a while now…

Playdough is coming FRESH after the creative efforts of Deepspace5’s 2010 album ‘The Future ain’t what it used to be’ and while what he adds to Deepspace5 is great… it’s even better to see him step out on his own again.

Often hip-hop albums can get ‘same old same old’ but Playdough doesn’t head down that track and has worked really hard to get the tracks sounding fresh and unique… and the tracks always take you somewhere… so often in main stream hip-hop you have a pimped up guy jumpin’ round and making noise on a track that goes nowhere and you leave neither inspired or enlightened.

Playdough gives you a healthy 1-2 punch- leaving you a little bit groggy… this album is deep in style, deep in creativity, deep in the groove and  deep in lyrical content that will leave you deep in thought while you’re spinnin’  another great Playdough lyric/groove mix in your head… well after the music has stopped.

Hotdoggin’ is like an anti-gravity button on your stereo… you cant help but have your feet leave the ground

AND… it’s Groooovy baby… in fact it’s so groovy Bootsy Collins may have to call the cops to ask where his groove went.

With all the fun and creativity on this album Playdough is able to keep it all pretty tight and this is a really well done album, especially since Playdough is able to show us some crazy skill while at the same time showing some of his heart… something that’s not easy to do in hip-hop.

If you like all the greats like Jurassic 5, De La Soul, Tribe called Quest and The Beastie Boys and Deepspace5

or if you think Christian Hip-hop can be more than Toby Mac then get your teeth into this album!


Have a listen to it (and then buy it on the link below… )

or iTunes


Album Review: Jars of Clay – ‘The Shelter’

out now on i-tunes and good music stores

One of the things I love about the Christian Music industry is that every now and then an artist (or group) bring out a worship album that is pretty special… and ‘The  Shelter’ certain has potential for being one of those, with collaborators  such as Mac Powell (of Third Day) Toby Mac, David Crowder and Amy Grant.

When I heard that Jars of Clay was releasing ‘The Shelter’ and that it  was a collaborative  effort I was a bit skeptical… as these albums seem to be pretty hit and miss (I mean can Toby Mac really work well with J.O.C.?). They seem to have a ‘make it fit’ feel rather than a organic natural feel… so will this work for J.O.C.?

I really shouldn’t have been worried as there is a reason that J.O.C. are 3 time GRAMMY award winners.

Where ‘The Shelter’ stands up better against collaborative albums, is the fact is the main thread weaving through the album is J.O.C. as a band… so any of the other artists on the album are adding to what the band brings to the table rather than the band conforming to the ‘guests’ styles. The Result is an album that flows really well, and it is also the reason that some of the artist like Toby Mac can fit on the album without ruining the flow of the album. On the track ‘Shelter’ Toby Mac becomes the Christian version of Timbaland adding just the tasty flavour to the song, adding enough to lift it up while Audrey Assad adds a wonderful mystical  feel to the track.

My favourite tracks on the the album ‘ features the new darlings of the worship music scene Gungor. ‘We Will Follow’ is a real stadium anthem where you find yourself shouting “where you lead us we will follow”. Mac Powell and J.O.C. come together for a real thigh slapper, carrying on from the Glory Revealed series with the track “Eyes Wide Open’.

The album is highlighted by 3 main things, they are great songwriting, a focus on memorable choruses, and a good balance throughout the album… the album keeps momentum through the album even ‘Run in the Night’ (a track that has a feel of less speed) is still driven by a pounding driving bass, and is followed by ‘Lay it down’ a rocker featuring David Crowder… it all keeps driving – moving forward until the last two track which are ‘Love will find’ and ‘Benediction’ – two tracks about God’s love.

I love how they end the album with a blessing… a real sense of the church community.

I’ve listened to the album a couple of times now, and I love it. There is enough variety to keep it interesting, but nothing out of the realm of what you would expect J.O.C. to do on one of their own albums. It’s also great to see a band come together after years of soul searching to just worship the Lord our God.


ALBUM: 11 Tracks

LENGTH: 49 minutes