In the world of rapcore/screamo, it is pretty evident that Spoken was one of the first bands to emerge in the Christian music scene combining these two genres together. Having formed in the early 90's while keeping it strictly underground, Spoken gained their own personal fanbase within the venues they performed. A question alone (no pun intended) is "does the band have what it takes to release a successful 'Best Of' album despite the fact that they were rarely known until a few years ago?" Their album, simply entitled Greatest Hits, combines songs from the three albums they released through Metro One Records.
The album starts off with "A Question Alone" from their 2001 project Echoes of the Spirit Dwell. The next track is the band's edgier version of Crystal Lewis' "People Get Ready, Jesus is Comin," followed by the slightly mellowed-out rap/rocker "Fly With Me," which features guest rap group K2S; both songs come from Spoken's 1999 album What Remains. The forementioned songs showcase Matt Baird's singing and hardcore vocals, which are done impressively well. However, the original rapcore roots of the band don't show up until track five, which is the title track from their 1997 debut On Your Feet. Unfortunately, "Stupid People" is the only other track from On Your Feet that appears on this project, while the remaining tracks are from their other two efforts.
Sadly, unlike most greatest hits albums, this particular project lacks variety and substance. This project covers over half of Spoken's Echoes of the Spirit Still Dwell and five tracks from their album What Remains, while the album On Your Feet is displayed with only a pair of tracks. The majority of the songs on this project, such as "I Won't Lie Down," "Silent Voice," "This Path," and "Prepare to Meet Thy God" weren't certified hits in my personal opinion, though I had never heard those songs until I bought the album itself. This album is more of an anthology due to the song selection, in which case, I would have preferred to maybe have heard some b-sides or unreleased material from the band in place of the songs that weren't exactly hits.
If the only album you own of Spoken is On Your Feet, buying their greatest hits album would be better than purchasing their other two projects since a great majority of it is covered here. However, if you've never heard of Spoken before and have interest in bands such as Underoath, Staple, and Dead Poetic, this album is worth a listen, but be sure to also pick up a copy of On Your Feet as well to add to your old school hard rock collection.- Review date: 1/13/05, written by Paul Portell
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