Indie (October 4, 2011)
Review by LaRosa
It’s been a minute since we’ve heard from one of the front runners of the Tunnel Rats crew. The Boston emcee transplanted to the city of Lost Angels is probably best familiar for his work with his sister Elsie as the duo New Breed. It’s been years since New Breed put out an album, and the Tunnel Rats as a collective have been off the radar for some time, aside from a few solo releases here & there. Fans have been watching & waiting for the Tunnel Rats to come out with something that will take the listener on a journey, much like Tunnel Vision did.
After a five to six year hiatus, Macho is ready to fill the void that listeners have been clamoring for. Taking the lessons that he has learned while away from the mic, Macho intends to take the listener on a ride: a ride down memory lane, the present, as well as the future. Keeping that in mind, his album is aptly titled Remember. With Remember, Macho wants to show you the several sides of who he is, whether it be as a husband & father, an emcee, or more importantly as a minister & worshiper. Heartfelt & pointed lyrics abound on this album as you get a giant piece of Macho’s heart with each and every track.
With Remember being a musical for both Macho and the listener, you would expect there to be changes in scenery and mood, and that’s exactly what you get here. With layers & textures abounding in instrumentation & lyricism, Macho feels at home with every shift and change that he finds in the road. Starting off with a very uptempo and hardcore style, the listener is easily shown that they need to be “Ready” to vibe with music that they can live to. It’s here that you encounter the anthem “Persuaded” featuring R-Swift where he draws on his east coast roots to knock out a banger for believers to ride to. This track is clearly one of the standouts on this project, as it encourages Christians to live their life right because they’ve been changed by the gospel. Macho even brings his uptempo sounds back to Cali while riding with Shames Worthy (Raphi) on “Do It Right.” As the roads wind & change, you also get a healthy dose of songs that are more melodic, with songs such as the title track “Remember” and “Don’t Listen to Your Heart.” There is also a pleasant surprise, as Macho also brings in several songs that are more on the worshipful side, like “Run to You” and “No Greater Love.” As a whole, there is a lot that you can walk away with from this album & there’s something for everyone.
It’s hard to find any flaws with this album because it’s a pretty complete; but, it’s not perfect. If there’s one thing in particular that were to be pointed out, it would be that one of the album’s biggest strengths is also one of its biggest flaws, from a listener’s standpoint. One of the things that Macho did with this album is show that he has a wide array of talent and enjoys different musical styles. While this works, it also makes the album feel a bit disjointed in places. At times in listening, it feels awkward to jump from a street anthem, to a track with heavy Latin influence, to a worship track, and back to another uptempo song. This makes it hard to give this album a listen in the car and causes a lot of tracks to get skipped over, instead of being played straight through.
From start to finish, Remember is an album that the listener is sure to be impacted by. Macho spilled his heart and soul with this record and it really shows. The music is top notch, the lyricism is on point, and the message is rock solid. Macho may have been gone for a while, but there is definitely no rust in his game. Any fan of New Breed or the Tunnel Rats would be proud to have this album in their collection. With the varied styles & tempos, this album is anything but cookie cutter. It’s music like this that reminds us why the Tunnel Rats are so respected in any circle they step in.