"This Is Not A Test" This is TobyMac's New Album

By Brian Hilliker
Shield Staff


Welcome to my 4th installment of “Five Of The Best Christian Albums Of 2015”.  This time around I will be listening to TobyMac’s “This Is Not A Test”.  With all proper introductions now out of the way, let’s get this review started!

Opening Tracks

“Like A Match” starts out with some exciting drum and piano parts.  TobyMac shows off his singing ability during the song’s chorus.  To me, the song is a little bit short, but, then again, 3:07 is an appropriate length for a radio hit.  Overall, this song is a nice up tempo opening for the album.

“Backseat Driver” starts out with some hard hitting drum beats. The song features guest parts from other Christian artists: Hollyn and Tru.  The drums are probably the most notable part of this song.

“This Is Not A Test” I repeat, this is not a test!  We have in fact reached the title track of the album!  All silly puns aside, this one starts out with a big keyboard part and builds up into an enjoyable dance pop song.  This is a powerful song and would be a great listen before a big night out on the town, before a big sporting event or, perhaps, for all the students reading this, just before taking a big exam.  But I digress; regardless of when or where you listen to it “This Is Not A Test” is a catchy song.

Second Half of the Album

 “Move (Keep Walkin’)” involves some acoustic guitar parts and a pumping drum beat.  As the song progresses, some guitars and pianos are introduced.  The song also has a nice orchestral part that builds the track back up to an explosive ending.

“Love Broke Thru” has a beautiful vocal melody to it and some enjoyable background vocals.  The chorus of the song hits with a lot of power which can really pull listeners in and hold their attention.  The song also has a clever spoken word section near its end.

“Beyond Me” has some progressive acoustic guitar parts.  The melody in the chorus is accompanied by a matching piano part.  Some unique atmospheric sounds complete this song.

Final Songs of the Album

“Love Feels Like” is a collaborative effort with DC Talk. The chanted pre-chorus builds to a shouted chorus.  This track has a nice balance of rap, pop and rock in it.

“Undeniable” is the last track on the album.  This is not a test! I repeat, this is not a test!  We have in fact reached the last track of the album!  Okay, that joke has really overstayed its welcome, but I just couldn’t resist.  Again, I digress. 

“Undeniable” is indeed the last song on “This Is Not A Test”. The piano in this song creates an epic vibe that is perfect for the end of an album.  The rap verses in the song are clever displays of Christian belief and the choruses have a powerful tone, to say the least.  All in all, it’s a great closer, to a great album. 

In my opinion, minus his obviously aging physical appearance, TobyMac has legitimately mastered the musical style of a generation that is more than half his age.  I think we can all agree that this is a remarkable feat considering that there are few musicians in their fifties who are going out of their way to appeal to the youth of the modern day, and there are even fewer who are actually succeeding at it.