Manafest came on the scene a couple years back, doing mainly underground
independent records, until getting picked up by BEC Recordings, who released his major label debut
rap/rock hybrid Epiphany in 2005. The record garnered a few radio staples, and the number
one hit, “Skills.” Now he’s gearing up for his sophomore release here at the near end of 2006, titled
Glory. Does this release warrant a listen?
At first listen, Glory is a huge step up in not only production but also lyrically.
On Epiphany, Manafest mixed the two styles of rock and rap to create a few unique songs,
but kept rap songs as rap, and rock songs as rock, for the most part. The difference with
Glory is that he keeps the rap/rock style more in each of the songs, which makes each
track more unique than the last. Take the first single, for instance, “Bounce.” The song starts out
with a solid rap beat, but is covered by a guitar, and it makes for a great track. The chorus may seem
monotonous at times, but the song grows on you quickly.
Some of the songs are more direct in their lyrical message as well, such as the emotional tracks
“Runaway” and “Where Are You,” both of which speak of the rapper’s parents, and the latter talks specifically of
his rough relationship with his father. Other key tracks include “Dreams,” which talks about reaching
for your dreams no matter how far away they seem, the rock-driven yet short “Wanna Know You,” and the
infectious “Don’t Turn Away.” Probably the highlight of the record is the second Trevor McNevan
collaboration by Manafest, “Impossible.” The rock/rap track is another staple to the TFK/Manafest
sound, and showcases Trevor’s talent as a singer yet again, just like in “Skills,” and it makes for
the best track on the record.
Sophomore records seem to always be hard to make, even if a debut doesn’t do as well as some
artists would like. It seems that Manafest got some pointers and used them to his advantage, and
with Glory, it blows his debut out of the water. This is definitely an album to check out,
and keep an eye out for Manafest as his sound continues to mature.
- Review date: 9/24/06, written by Justin Mabee