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JFH Music Review



Group 1 Crew
Ordinary Dreamers



Artist Info: Discography
Album length: 14 tracks: 53 minutes, 12 seconds
Street Date: September 16, 2008


Last year, a little rap/R&B group named Group 1 Crew ventured onto the Christian music scene and surprisingly excelled quickly, garnering the group a nomination as New Artist Of The Year at the Dove Awards, and they received the chance to play at the awards show. G1C's debut did rather well, and the threesome quickly went out on tour and also started writing for their next album. Now, just over a year and a half later, the Group releases their much anticipated sophomore recording, Ordinary Dreamers, after teasing fans with a remix EP that featured two songs that also appear here.

Ordinary Dreamers takes the elements from the group's self-titled album and copies them, almost to a "T." While this album is drastically more diverse in sound, with synths and piano on top of guitars and drums, it's not anything we haven't heard from Group 1 Crew before. That's not to say the album is bad. It kicks off with the beat-driven "Movin', showing that this group can have fun and dance, keeping it clean and Christ-centered at the same time. Highlights on the record include the soulful rocker "Gimme That Funk," the powerful and lyrically-driven "Keys to the Kingdom," the bass-fueled "iContact" and the dance-party feel of "Critical Emergency." These songs tend to be about as good as Group 1 Crew can get, because the rest of the songs, like "Tonight," the musically out-of-place "Our Time," and the soul/jazzy "Closer" seem to have a much more melodic, slow feel than the group's debut had. Group 1 Crew incorporates many instruments and effects all the way through their albums, however, which gives them a bit of a creative edge, as evidenced on the innovative sounds of "Live Out Loud." It would have been nice to see something replace the two tracks from the remix EP released earlier this year, but placing them here ensures that new and old fans alike will hear them.

Overall, if you're looking for new rap/R&B to listen to, look no further than the sounds of Group 1 Crew. They've taken a continuously overdone genre of rap and R&B and incorporated lots of different instruments and sounds, and they've done it without forsaking the most important thing: the message. While their debut is a better place to start, Ordinary Dreamers showcases G1C doing what they do best: having fun and praising God at the same time.

- Review date: 9/9/08, written by Justin Mabee



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JFH Staff's Second Opinion



Following an impressive introduction and their No Plan B EP, Group 1 Crew brings their A-game for the truly fun and funky follow-up, Ordinary Dreamers. In an age where mainstream music runs rampant with rap and R&B outfits for the masses to move to, there's an incredible lack of substance there, so when an act like Group 1 Crew steps in to bring the quality with some heart and spirit along with it, it's refreshing. While their debut even garnered attention at the Doves, Ordinary Dreamers proves this trio to be no fluke. Highlights include "I See You," "Bring The Party To Life," "Keys To The Kingdom," "Critical Emergency," and "I Had A Dream." If there's any downside to the album, it's that it isn't really until the album's second half of its generous fourteen track song list that this party really gets started, and there are a few moments that tend to feel just a bit overproduced. Still, presented in an upbeat party-friendly packaging, the energizing batch of songs is a reminder of just what it is that we like so much about Christian music -- It helps set our mind and spirit on the things above. - John DiBiase of Jesusfreakhideout.com

 

. Record Label: Fervent Records
. Album length: 14 tracks: 53 minutes, 12 seconds
. Street Date: September 16, 2008
. Buy It: Amazon.com

  1. Movin'
  2. Our Time
  3. Gimme That Funk
  4. Tonight
  5. Keys To The Kingdom
  6. Closer
  7. Bring The Party To Life
  8. iContact
  9. I See You
  10. Critical Emergency
  11. I Had A Dream
  12. Live Out Loud
  13. Change
  14. Livin' The Life
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