Release Date: March 18, 2014
Reviewed by: Micah Garnett
- A Night To Remember
- Transformed (feat. Toby Mac)
- Don’t Play (feat. Ryan Clark)
- We Walk on Water
- Kinfolk (feat. Soul Glow Activatur)
- I Like To Win
- Beyond This World
- My Choice Is You
Let’s get this out of the way: Shonlock is a tremendous artist. A longtime veteran of music, Shonlock is probably best known as a member of Toby Mac’s Diverse City Band. After parting ways with the group, Shonlock released his solo album Neveroddoreven. Neveroddoreven was a good album filled with fun tracks, but was too sonically all over the place to realize its full potential. Now Shonlock is back with A Night To Remember.
A Night To Remember opens with its title track. In an album filled with catchy summer songs that would feel right at home in the Top 40, “A Night To Remember” really stands out. It’s a mix of pop, dance, and hip-hop, and Shonlock pulls it off brilliantly. Right off the bat the album is focused and more coherent than its predecessor, and it works in Shonlock’s favor. “Heartbreak” showcases Shonlock’s range which can go from low to high without missing a beat. It’s a joy to listen to and definitely a highlight of the album. It addresses the issue of sin and repentance and the heartbreak that follows every time we walk away from God.
Toby Mac sings on the next song, “Transformed”. Like it’s name suggests, “Transformed” paints the picture of a life changed by Christ. Toby’s feature is the best part of the song. I haven’t heard him sing this passionately in a song since Momentum. He and Shonlock really knocked this one out of the park. Ryan Clark of Demon Hunter fame brings his raspy, gritty vocals to “Don’t Play”. I never would have imagined him featured on a Shonlock song, but his voice brings the perfect amount of energy to the song. That, coupled with the intense production, will leave your neck sore from bobbing.
“If you’re feeling like I’m feeling, lift the ceiling up. If you want the living water, pour another cup. You know I don’t play.”
Shonlock pours his heart out on “Hurricane” before leading in to “We Walk On Water”. The former is a slower song and the latter is a dance-infused number. Like the previous tracks, Shonlock feels natural against a dance backdrop, delivering another highlight. Former Family Force 5 frontman Solomon Olds, better known as Soul Glow Activatur, completes the vocal trifecta of features, lending his voice to “Kinfolk”. Shonlock and Soul Glow are two of the best all-around artists in the industry, and they don’t disappoint with “Kinfolk”. Soul Glow’s silky smooth vocals contrast against fast rapping by Shonlock to add yet another great song.
“I Like To Win” was featured on ESPN during March Madness earlier in the year, and with good reason. It’s the best song on the album and is a rousing anthem that just makes you want to move. The drum line featured during the bridge of the song takes it to another level. Shonlock is at his best here, and that’s saying a lot. “Beyond This World” and “My Choice Is You” are mellow, introspective songs that finish the album on a more soothing note. “My Choice Is You” is a neat song that acts as a testimony for Shonlock.
“I won’t forget you. I refuse to. I’ll stand beside you. One thing in life I know is true. I’ve made my choice and my choice is you.”
All in all, A Night To Remember is the perfect summer album. It’s filled to the brim with catchy songs best blasted with the windows down, all complimented by Shonlock’s dynamic vocals. It’s an album that will be on repeat for quite a while, and is one of the best pop albums CCM has ever produced. Be sure to check this out.
3 songs to listen to: Heartbreak, Transformed, I Like To Win
RIYL: Group 1 Crew, Family Force 5, Toby Mac, Jason Derulo