258. Tonight – TobyMac

TONIGHT (2010)


There is no doubt that TobyMac has been the most commercially successful of the three “Talkers” since the disbanding of the biggest group in CCM history over a decade ago. His sound has remained the closest to DC Talk, which makes sense given his songwriting import with DC Talk.

But TobyMac has the most uncanny ability to write hits. Memorable, fun and high quality hits! Three of his four solo records make this list and the fourth was just outside of the list. He also does not simply write a collection of hits, every album has a lyrical focus and drive. In other words, unlike many artists in CCM, TobyMac still makes “albums” in the truest sense of the word.

Tonight is his most recent and if another similar list is made ten years from now it will probably chart much higher. Tonight is filled with soul, funk, rock, rap, hip-hop and the biggest improvement in one area: writing and performing ballads.

City of Our Knees, the first single and monster hit, is a great mid-tempo ballad that has more in common with Coldplay than anything resembling hip hop. The big wall of keyboards and vocals swarm, surround and envelope. The wonderful staccato string arrangement drive the radio ready song. It debuted at number on Christian radio charts and sold 200,000 in the first week it was released.

Several other songs have been used by ESPN, NBC and other media outlets in support of sports and television programming. One of those is Showstopper which is the style that Toby excels with. The driving rock rhythm supporting the rap styled vocals. This format has been used successfully on every T-Mac release.

T’s son, Trudog, appears for his 4th installment on LoudNClear, a song that actually deserved to be longer and this time introduces his three year old brother.

Like any other T-Mac album there are several guests that add their talents to the project. This time out Israel Houghton, Matt Thiessen (Relient K), John Cooper (Skillet) and Beckah Shae all make appearances. Another great and memorable work for an artist showing no sign of slowing down.

  1. Jerrid
    November 16, 2010 at 2:13 am

    Glad to see a newer album on this list.

  2. Shawn McLaughlin
    November 22, 2010 at 3:45 am

    yeah….just not this one : )

  3. Greenchili
    March 8, 2011 at 4:31 pm

    He really refined his craft with this one. I still need to play it for my wife at somepoint. 😀

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