One thing about Tobymac is that he never makes the same record twice- Momentum, Welcome to Diverse City, Portable Sounds, Tonight, Eye on It and This is Not a Test all featured different styles and sounds and, love it or hate it, he’s always kept current with what’s popular.
His latest record, The Elements is yet another turn in direction and features a more electronic-oriented style but stays true to what Tobymac has built his legacy on and is one of this finest-tuned records.
The album cover shows Toby in a winter cap, covered in snow in what appears to be a snowy wilderness and the title track opens up the record, putting a soundtrack to that visual, bringing everything together. It may be the most vivid song he’s ever recorded.
Toby has always had at least one huge radio hit from each record- if not more- and “I Just Need U” was the lead single, becoming exactly that- a massive radio hit and should find its way into his setlist quick- it\’s’ reminiscent of “Me Without You,” from a few albums ago and is a poppy, electronic anthem and “It’s You” continues the musical style.
There’s a little bit of everything for Tobymac’s “musical gumbo,” as he calls it- funk, hip hop, rap, pop, electronic and more. However, there’s not much rock on this record, so if you’re a fan of that area of Toby’s career, don’t hold out for it on this record or you’ll be disappointed. There’s still a lot of gold to be found on The Elements, though, so there’s still something to enjoy for everyone.
Lyrically, this is one of Tobymac’s most honest, versatile, stripped down and vulnerable records. “Scars,” “Edge of My Seat,” “Everything” and “Horizon (A New Day)” show exactly that and this is a record that should redefine and solidify Tobymac’s legacy as a solo artist- as if it hadn’t already.