If there was ever any doubt that a Christian band could control the charts, TobyMac has destroyed it. Overnight, the band’s new CD Eye On It stole the No.1 slot on the Top 10 iTunes Albums and is still gaining steady momentum.
Toby McKeehan, the band’s lead singer, has captured our attention.
This morning, Eye On It served as my cup of coffee. It worked as well as any caffeine shot — the songs are invigorating and inspiring; pop with a twist. The powerful lyrics pledge loyalty to Christ and encourage listeners to carry on through hard times. But, above all, the album draws from an impressive array of genres: electronic, pop, dance, rap and a dash of gospel. TobyMac knows how to feed a crowd: provide a taste of everything.
I will admit, when I turned on the album’s first single, “Me Without You,” I was a Doubting Thomas. I was skeptical, afraid of what I might hear. The Christian genre is notorious for being stereotypical and boring, making worship seem dry and without substance. Too often, Christian artists stick with the same hymns, the same soft rock, the same “hallelujahs” and “amens.”
TobyMac takes that stereotype, throws it to the ground and stomps it out. Eye On It tackles the good and the bad, the ups and downs. It explores the repercussions of bad decisions, the truth behind humility, and the ideas surrounding a loving relationship — with God and with a fellow human. The album can set the mood for a dance party, a rainy afternoon, a hardcore work-out session or a drive home from school — you just have to pick the right song.
The new album shows TobyMac isn’t afraid to contend with the big wigs. Pop culture may promote heavy drinking, casual sex and drug abuse, but TobyMac has sought out to prove it can promote Jesus as well. That’s what is most inspiring about Eye On It — the music is drawn from pop culture and surrounded by pop culture, but it uplifts and teaches love without degradation.
As TobyMac sings in the record’s fifth track, “Speak Life,”: “It’s crazy, amazing, we can turn a heart through the words we say.” And with albums like Eye On It, it’s very likely that we can.
By Lauren Puckett