Release Date: July 16th 2021
Reviewed by: Joshua Andre
- Blackout (feat. Sam Tinnesz)
- Save You (feat. Redlight King)
- Light It Up (feat. UNSECRET)
- Blackout (Instrumental)
- Save You (Instrumental)
- Light It Up (Instrumental)
Christopher Greenwood, or Manafest as he is professionally called; has had a respected, honest, emotional and inspiring career thus far. A rapper and a lover of Jesus; Manafest has dropped hopeful, encouraging, compelling and hard-hitting albums throughout his career in his own ‘rap-rock’ genre. Never content with staying in just the same style within albums and even between albums, Manafest has challenged the status quo and has also delivered many confronting anthems, designed for us to look inwards at how we live our life. I guess it would be easy for Manafest to have signed to a label and just create the ‘same’ album over and over. But songs like “Never Let You Go”, “Fighter”, “Every Time You Run”, “Diamonds”, “Let You Drive”, “Reborn”, “You’re Gonna Rise” and “Human” to name a few, have all tugged at my emotions- and this year Manafest is at it again with the professional musical and lyrical prowess, but also with the heart also in the powerful and equally confronting EP Blackout.
For me, I’m not the biggest fan of Manafest. As you can see on the site, we haven’t covered him that much (we failed to review any of his previous 4 albums- This Is Not The End, Stones, Reborn and The Moment), however this doesn’t mean that we’re not a fan. It’s just that his style of music is quite different to anything else we’ve ever heard and even feel comfortable reviewing. Regardless, I thought I would make up for lost time with this EP and dive straight in… and let me tell you, Manafest is still extremely passionate; however the lack of tracks (3 songs and 3 instrumentals) leaves me wanting more, and somewhat underwhelmed. With Manafest channelling rock acts like Skillet, RED and Thousand Foot Krutch in the title track, Manafest teams up with Sam Tinnesz for a song about addiction to drugs, and the painful realities that come with that. A similar theme to P!NK’s “Just Like A Pill”, both Manafest and Sam fervently call out to God for help and assistance; and as the duo ask God to wake them, change them and ‘lift the curse’ right off them, we are met with a song that exudes painful honesty and a sense of authenticity and vulnerability. It’s a song that I myself cannot relate that well too, given that I haven’t been drunk, let alone been blacked out, ever in my life. But the concept of being ‘blacked out’ I guess is metaphorical for really falling hard and failing at one area in life… and boy haven’t we all felt like that sometimes? With the question of asking God to save us, not really answered here; the realisation is that this song is meant for the mainstream as well and for people of no faith. Regardless, I reckon “Blackout” is a solid effort and a worthy melody, if only it poses the question of how we are living our lives and whether it is beneficial to our well-being and our souls or not.
“Save You”, featuring Redlight King on guest vocals, reminds us that no one in this earth will save us, and that we can only save ourselves (this song I’d guess is directed to the mainstream as I reckon it’s possibly is a seeker-sensitive melody- because it doesn’t mention much about Jesus Christ!); while the EP closer (asides from the musically impressive yet equally unnecessary instrumentals!) is “Light It Up” with UNSECRET. It’s a song that is EDM to the core, yet also a melody that pales in comparison to even “Blackout” a couple of songs earlier. As Manafest sings that we should light our fire and ‘light it up’ in reference to being active in our faith; this song seems like a party song that is sure to confuse us maybe even more than comfort and inspire us.
You can always count on Manafest for a compelling, comforting and confronting album- and if these songs from Blackout EP are anything to go on by; then Manafest’s upcoming new full length album releasing this year or next year, will be one of the most lyrically interesting and musically diverse in the future. Some of you may not appreciate Manafest’s mesh of music styles- however I think it’s inventive, creative, and well worth the first listen- and then you can decide if he’s an artist you could listen to or not. Blackout EP is solid, even though it’s a tad on the short side… so what are you waiting for? Check out Manafest’s latest EP and let us know what you think of this release.
3 songs to listen to: Blackout, Save You, Light It Up
RIYL: Daughtry, RED, Lecrae, KJ-52, NF, KB, House Of Heroes