131. Free at Last – DC Talk

FREE AT LAST (1992)

DC Talk

After the rather comical (at times) debut and a decent sophomore release in Nu Thang, the band that would eventually own the CCM world with the release of “Jesus Freak,” released an album that was such a leap in quality, authenticity and “hip factor” its actually difficult to believe that this is the same group that release the debut album just a few years previous. Free at Last would also introduce the mainstream music world to Christian rap with appearances on Jay Leno, MTV and ESPN.

Though still a rap/hip-hop group at this point, the band also began experiment with the rock leanings that would dominate the historic Jesus Freak release. Lyrical themes ranged from racism and racial reconciliation to sex and social justice. Lead rapper TobyMac really began to take hold of the musical direction here and that was a very good thing.

The band also broke down the boundaries of musical videos within CCM. Previous videos were always mediocre or down right awful, but several from this release are quite exceptional. Both Hardway and the cover of the Doobie Brothers classic, Jesus is Just Alright, were leaps and bounds beyond other videos for the day.

The album also really broke the band out of the “boy band” market and into a legit rock/hip-hop group. With FAL, DC Talk was suddenly being listened to be college students and guys as well as the female tweeners. The content of the lyrics were becoming less straight evangelical and more social and even political.

As states previously the rumblings of what would come just a few later are found here, but the album stands on its own as a great work. In fact, as I recall, CCM Magazine listed this album the album in the Top 10 of all time in their initial Top 100 list. Great production, killer songs with lasting impressions and an eternal message that never sounded forced or phony.

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  1. Greenchili
    March 9, 2011 at 10:02 am

    As great as “Jesus Freak” is.. I still enjoy listening to this album more. Of course everyonce in a while I slip in a few songs from their debut album just to remind me how quickly the progressed.

  2. June 15, 2011 at 6:24 pm

    Usually I hate rap music but still I love this album. It has such a strong message! I couldn’t ever imagine that I would like this kind of material. After I heard “Luv Is a Verb” from Youtube…I had to buy this album. And still some people say that YouTube is a bad thing for record companies.

  3. Greenchili
    June 6, 2014 at 6:29 am

    Keep in mind these guys started out (and met) at Falwell’s Liberty University. I actually knew three people who went to Liberty.

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