Life By Stereo by J.R. (pronounced "Junior") is an R&B album courtesy of Cross Movement Records. I can't remember anything bad actually coming out of the Philly label, and this album is no exception. JR's sophomore release is a sound that you can tag as experimental R&B. The album's production is unique, with the sounds of organs, acoustic guitars, and piano underlying J.R.'s smooth voice. At times, the record is even reminiscent of DC Talk. And that's a very good thing, by the way.
Life By Stereo starts off with "Rock Star" and "Not A Slave," both of which have radio play written all over them, but deliver a clear message about where our focus should be in life. Other album highlights would include "Ridaz," in which J.R. has some friends along rapping along in a great track about spiritual warfare and being military minded for Christ. The passion-filled "When the Thrill is Gone" will make you feel emotion running deep as you listen to the piano and tear-laced background. "Trust in You" is another favorite, which cleverly combines old school beats and J.R. singing about moving on from the past; it's a great combo.
As with all CMR releases, this album places the focus entirely on Christ. J.R. could not be more clear on who God is and what He means to him. The only weak spots on the album are "Your Word," a track with a Jamaican feel, and the jazz filled "Getaway." All in all, this is a great release for the young musician out of St. Louis. Life By Stereo will definitely be spending a long time in my car stereo.- Review date: 3/26/08, written by Kevin Hoskins
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