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Saturday, August 30, 2014
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Albums / tobyMac / Welcome To Diverse City
Welcome To Diverse City

Welcome To Diverse City

Anthony DeBarros

Let’s get the most newsworthy tidbit out of the way first: Yes, dc talk does reunite, at least momentarily, on a song on tobyMac’s second solo album, Welcome to Diverse City. And, yes, the track—a remix of “Atmosphere,” which appears with different vocalists earlier in the album—sounds just like something left off of Supernatural, the last album dc talk did before entering extended hiatus around the turn of the millennium. In other words: It’s classic dc talk.

With that out of the way, here’s the other bit of news: Diverse City is really, really good. Unlike his dc talk compatriots, Kevin Max and Michael Tait, Toby has remained musically close to the group’s urban roots. His live shows, particularly his recent opening slot on Third Day’s tour, have been vibrant, we-are-family festivals that veer from delightful rap to hard rockin’ slugfests. Diverse City catches that same all-inclusive vibe and extends it over 16 cuts that range from ballads to in-your-face jams. In tone, it’s less like the rock-rap of his first effort, Momentum, and more like the beat-heavy remixes of those songs he released last year as Re:Mix Momentum.

“It’s been a long time coming, but I’m serving up the sequel,” he announces on opener “Hey, Now,” which sets the album’s pace with funk guitar and horns. The song segues quickly into the tooth-rattling bass beats of “Catchafire (Whoopsi Daisy),” where Toby and guests Papa San and MOC rap about turning up the heat on the spiritually lukewarm. The festival feel continues on the title track, “Diverse City,” which evokes Parliament and Sly and the Family Stone in an ode to embracing racial and ethnic diversity—a favorite theme of Toby’s.

Thankfully missing from the album is the tendency Momentum had to build songs around melodies from classic hits. Instead, tobyMac opts to bring in a greater assortment of guests, including T-Bone, Coffee (GRITS) and Superchic[k], who help turn “Stories (Down to the Bottom)” into encouragement for those who are struggling under life’s burdens. And there’s the return of Toby’s son Truett, a.k.a. TruDog, who sounds positively overjoyed that he’s getting a Happy Meal for his efforts.

Once the disc winds down, we’re graced with that dc talk reunion. Its version of the Top 40-ish “Atmosphere” won’t stop people from clamoring for a dc talk come back, but it’s a nice reminder that something special happens when these three get together.

 

ALBUM TRACKS

 
Song Title Length Play Price Buy MP3
 
Hey Now
Album: Welcome To Diverse City
3:44 $0.99 Buy Song
 
Catchfire (Whoopsi-Daisy)
Album: Welcome To Diverse City
3:24 $0.99 Buy Song
 
The Slam
Album: Welcome To Diverse City
3:19 $0.99 Buy Song
 
Poetically Correct
Album: Welcome To Diverse City
0:56 $0.99 Buy Song
 
Atmosphere
Album: Welcome To Diverse City
4:07 $0.99 Buy Song
 
Gone
Album: Welcome To Diverse City
3:26 $0.99 Buy Song
 
TruDog: The Return
Album: Welcome To Diverse City
2:22 $0.99 Buy Song
 
Diverse City
Album: Welcome To Diverse City
3:56 $0.99 Buy Song
 
Stories (Down To The Bottom)
Album: Welcome To Diverse City
4:40 $0.99 Buy Song
 
Getaway Car
Album: Welcome To Diverse City
4:26 $0.99 Buy Song
 
Burn For You
Album: Welcome To Diverse City
3:49 $0.99 Buy Song
 
Fresher Than A Night At The W
Album: Welcome To Diverse City
0:48 $0.99 Buy Song
 
Ill-M-I
Album: Welcome To Diverse City
3:29 $0.99 Buy Song
 
Phenomenon
Album: Welcome To Diverse City
5:19 $0.99 Buy Song
 
Gotta Go
Album: Welcome To Diverse City
2:49 $0.99 Buy Song
 
Atmosphere (Remix)
Album: Welcome To Diverse City
4:35 $0.99 Buy Song
Get the Flash Player to play songs.
9.9900

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TOBYMAC ALBUMS

 
A Night To Remember
(March 2014)
A Night To Remember
0 user reviews
Remixd
(March 2014)
Remixd
0 user reviews
Aviva
(August 2013)
Aviva
0 user reviews
Revival
(August 2013)
Revival
0 user reviews
Eye On It
(August 2012)
Eye On It
1 user reviews
Eye On It (Deluxe Edition)
(August 2012)
Eye On It (Deluxe Edition)
0 user reviews
Dubbed & Freq'd: A Remix Project
(March 2012)
Dubbed & Freq'd: A Remix Project
1 user reviews
Tonight
(February 2010)
Tonight
1 user reviews
Portable Sounds (With Bonus Remixes)
(December 2008)
Portable Sounds (With Bonus Remixes)
0 user reviews
Alive And Transported
(May 2008)
Alive And Transported
0 user reviews
Portable Sounds
(February 2007)
Portable Sounds
0 user reviews
Renovating Diverse City
(August 2005)
Renovating Diverse City
0 user reviews
Welcome To Diverse City
(October 2004)
Welcome To Diverse City
0 user reviews
Re: Mix Momentum
(January 2003)
Re: Mix Momentum
0 user reviews
Momentum
(January 2001)
Momentum
0 user reviews
 
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