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JFH Staff Review


B.Reith
Now Is Not Forever



Artist Info: Discography
Album length: 12 tracks: 43 minutes, 46 seconds
Street Date: September 22, 2009


Brian Reith, better known as B. Reith, is a TobyMac discovery. Making his brand of hip-hop music since 2003, he was signed to Gotee records in 2008 and subsequently released the Forecast EP. Now it is finally time to see what he can spin on a full-length album, his new release Now Is Not Forever.

Like any good hip-hop album, Now Is Not Forever kicks things off with a funky intro track, introducing Reith's poppy soul vocals over some catchy organ. "The Comeback Kid" jumps in immediately with some heavy synth and a driving beat. Here we get the first taste of Reith's rapping abilities, which are respectable. This is also the first taste of his clever lyrical ability, with lines like "I never thought I'd say I got too many fans. You can thank my face for that. I mean, wait, MySpace, Facebook." The chorus has Reith reaching higher into his range but sounding smooth throughout. "I Know" takes things in a more pop direction, and Reith's vocals particularly stand out in this track as he spins a catchy yet relaxing melody in the chorus. Things get simpler when "Mess" starts, and we hear just Reith's voice and an acoustic guitar. "Antidote" moves closer to a pop rock sound, with a persistent piano line and some backing electric guitars. This musical diversity shows itself throughout the album, with Reith moving from hip-hop to soul to even worship. The execution is excellent throughout, with Reith showing that he has a secure handle on each of the varying styles on the album.

Similarly, Reith takes his lyrics in many directions. Typically, there are tracks like "The Comeback Kid" and "Old School," where he is mostly rapping about himself and his abilities. Fortunately he also manages to maintain a humble undertone in these tracks. "U Should Know" is a simple romance song, followed immediately by "Wish That," which speaks of regrets in a previous relationship. "Antidote" is both heavy and encouraging, reflecting on people looking for hope in their life and clearly pointing towards Jesus. "Rain Down" has a worship feel, with a message as simple as its title. "Just For You" is a highlight with its honest lyrics and sincere statement of commitment to God. Curiously, B.Reith also seems to have an interest in accused murderers, with two references to O.J. Simpson and one mention of Jeffrey Dahmer. The line "Just call me O.J., I had to take a stab at it" will probably leave listeners scratching their heads.

Now Is Not Forever is an excellent album. There's a little bit of everything here, and the songwriting is catchy and tight. Reith's vocals are also very pleasing to the ear. Couple this with lyrics that are both fun and deep, and you have a more than satisfactory debut album for B. Reith.

- Review date: 9/21/09, written by Timothy Estabrooks of Jesusfreakhideout.com

 

JFH Staff's Second Opinion



B.Reith's latest offering carries a classic soul vibe with a touch of hip-hop and showcases various vocal talents. The artist tackles a lot of different musical areas and hits on an array of focal points throughout the album. To start off, "The Comeback Kid" delivers great beats and is filled with clever lyrics about persisting in the music business and how people to this day still pronounce his name wrong. "Old School" brings the same kind of style, while keeping the tempo up and the lyrics funny. Along with the humor, there's also a good amount of tracks filled with serious spiritual matter. "I Know" and "Mess" are reminders of how God is always there for us even when we screw up royally, while "Antidote" and "My Story" explain the need for God in our lives to help us through. The beats stay ever unique while each track is fun and catchy. Finishing Now Is Not Forever are "Just For You" and "Breathe," both a nice surprise at the end of an already good album. Accompanied by acoustic strings, piano keys, and violins, Brian sings wonderful praise songs that are simply written and beautifully made. Overall, this is a very solid full-length release. I was hoping for a little more emphasis on his hip-hop side, but the overall range and obvious talents of B.Reith make this an easy favorite no matter what genre of music you prefer. - Kevin Hoskins of Jesusfreakhideout.com

 

. Record Label: Gotee Records
. Album length: 12 tracks: 43 minutes, 46 seconds
. Street Date: September 22, 2009
. Buy It: iTunes
. Buy It: Amazon.com

  1. Intro (Excuse Me Everybody) (1:02)
  2. The Comeback Kid (3:43)
  3. I Know (3:22)
  4. Mess (3:50)
  5. Antidote (4:07)
  6. My Story (3:20)
  7. U Should Know (3:46)
  8. Wish That (4:13)
  9. Old School (3:07)
  10. Rain Down (5:03)
  11. Just For You (4:02)
  12. Breathe (4:18)
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