Collision Records (November 5, 2013)
Review by LaRosa Johnson
Buy this album: SphereofhiphopStore.com
If you haven’t heard of Alex Faith, that’s okay, most haven’t. Yet, to be a new artist to most, he’s rolling with a talented crew of artists in producers as a part of the Collision Records team. If you’ve heard Dre Murray’s Gold Rush: Maybe One Day or Swoope’s Wake Up, then you’ve heard Alex Faith spit rhymes; as a matter of fact he was on nearly half of the songs on the WLAK album. He dropped a free album last year titled Honest 2 God that seemed to go unnoticed by a lot of listeners. That aside, Alex is ready to drop what we’ll call his official debut to the world titled ATLast.
With this album, Alex Faith seeks to lay his heart bare for the listener to hear and relate to. The opening song “ATFirst” describes perfectly what you’re getting into; in this song Alex states that this is “music tailor made for your soul to have a war to / life is hanging in the balance, boy I thought I told you.” In essence, ATLast is a lyrical exposition of Alex’s life and struggles in the faith, and done so in a way that hopefully will encourage you to continue standing strong with your faith in Christ.
Alex Faith unashamedly hails from the state of Georgia (Atlanta area) and it’s evident when you listen to him rhyme, as his southern drawl and influences are quite hard to miss. That being said, it was going to be interesting to see how well Alex would mesh his southern raps with the very clean and east coast influenced production of Wit & Swoope. As you listen to ATLast you quickly notice that this team works quite well as both artist and producer are pushed out of their comfort zone to produce a piece of art that is a homogeneous blend of both realms that sounds totally authentic. You can tell that Alex spent a lot of time writing rhymes & using schemes that helped him to step out of his traditional influences, where you almost forget that he’s a southern rapper. At the same time, the production team break free from their comfort zone and lay down some smooth southern sounds for all the emcees to lay down their bars over.
While the superb sound of this album is what’s going to draw in most listeners, you’d be remiss if you didn’t take notice of the lyrical depth that ATLast has to offer. The overall theme of this album is to take you from the beginning of Alex’s journey (ATFirst) and the point where he’s wrestling with different struggles and issues, both natural and spiritual. The progression of the album takes you from that start point to its conclusion where hope is found in Christ (ATLast). The point being that this life is a struggle but Jesus is more valuable than anything else that is warring for our attention. Everything that fits between these two bookends paints the picture.
All in all, Alex Faith wore his heart on his sleeve with ATLast and it worked. From beginning to end you’re drawn in for the journey and captivated throughout its entirety. Alex faith showed that he has plenty to say and that he’s a lyricist at heart. The production was clean and provided the perfect backdrop for Alex to share his story. Even if you’re not a fan of southern hip-hop, this album is still worth owning because it is just that good. It’s hard to believe that Collision Records is able to hit a home run with every release, but it appears that they’ve done it again with ATLast.