Tuesday, November 04, 2008

The Songs Of Zion

Well, the election is over. I’ll let other bloggers sort out the chaos that will undoubtedly ensue. I will, however, say this: I was impressed both by McCain’s concession and Obama’s Victory speeches. After all, they both handled things with dignity. Wasn’t that what I was asking for?

So, tonight, I’m going to blog about something totally different.

The Songs of Zion

“The Showman Empire”
By TJ Fredette

The LDS hip hop hall of fame is a pretty small, it’s true. But if there were to be candidates and inductees, I’d recommend two: Arhythmatik and TJ Fredette. These are musicians whose songs I actually like. I mean there are a lot of LDS artists that I like and I support simply for their novelty. They’re unique and I like that. But these are two guys that I keep in rotation in my mp3 player. I can actually “sing” along with some of their tunes.

So, when TJ sent me his latest self-published CD, “The Showman Empire”, I was excited.

I was also a little nervous. I mean, when I really like something that I’m hearing, this little voice in my head wonders if the next thing they do will be as good.

Well, it is.

One thing I really love about listening to TJ is his messages. They’re hard-hitting, but clean. One of my favorites is “You Don’t Know What Could Happen”. This is an in-your-face story of what happens when wrong choices get out of control. “Say One Thing Mean Another” is an indictment of the excesses of mainstream hip hop culture that doesn’t pull any punches.

He can also get personal. “Young Shadows” is all about how little kids look up to older family members, and how we need to be careful about the examples we live. Repentance is the subject of “I Didn’t Mean It”.

I really like his tracks, as well. I don’t know who produces them, himself or someone else, but they always have more structure than typical eternal loops that I hear in a lot of pop and hip hop. The minor keys he uses tend to lend an air of austere seriousness to the songs, but honestly, that’s the one complaint I have about this CD. Most of the tracks come with that haunting, sad tone, and a similar pacing in the beats. I’d say to mix it up a bit more, but then, I’m not the expert on hip hop production, either.

Well, now I have some more killa beatz to add to my rotation on my commute!


Mark Hansen

1 comment:

  1. Hi Mark. Off posting - apologies. But saw your link to Utah Conductive Education then found out the last Camp news was some years ago. What's happened to Utah CE and what was your connection with it? As a parent, is that right? You might like to know your blog is featured at www.netvibes.com/conductiveweb#Parent_blogs
    Best wishes



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