tobyMac – Eye On It [Album Review] (Release Date: August 28, 2012)
A few things about Eye On It, toby Mac’s latest release. Yes, the first single “Me Without You” is one of the top songs of 2012. Yes, the album is only the 3rd Christian album EVER to debut at the top of Billboards sales charts its first week (the other two, Bob Carlisle’s Butterfly Kisses & a LeAnn Rimes Christian Country Inspirational Album). Most importantly, however, is that the project draws you in from the moment you press play. I keep thinking to myself, “this guy is the same age as me (mid 40’s now), how does he keep doing this?” What can we say about tobyMac that hasn’t been said already? I think the thing I love about him the most is this: He knows he is called to this and maintains a strict focus to do what he does best, over and over and over again, about every 3 years or so. (count it as a gift that we get Eye On It only two years after the release of Tonight)
The project opens with “Me Without You” and just keeps flowing right along. Literally every song on Eye On It could be a single across multiple formats of Christian radio. It’s my favorite song on the radio right now.
“Steal My Show” continues to build the project. It’s a song all about surrender. Musically, it features some different sampling than the listener may be used to with Toby as it intros with kind of a dreamy feel to it. It’s my favorite to listen to when I want to relax.
The title track “Eye On It” is the most raucous on the project and may be my favorite. (as of today, that will change lol…)
“Forgiveness” features everyone’s favorite album guest of 2012, Lecrae, so you know before even listening it’s bound to be incredible, and it features Toby at his best rapping like no one else. Okay, this is my favorite song.
“Speak Life” is straight out of the word of God lyrically with a message to impact lives and build one another up instead of tearing down. This might be my favorite song.
“Unstoppable” features Blanca from Group 1 Crew and is another foot stomping subwoofer blaster. I love the fire truck horn in it. It’s my new favorite song.
“Lose Myself” could be the next song to radio after “Me Without You” runs its course. Another anthem that just flows out of your speakers like a giant heaping helping of ear candy. If you don’t want to raise your hands and worship during this, then it’s not your favorite song on the project. But it may be mine.
The first time I heard “Family,” it struck me as an extremely vulnerable song that got me thinking about what it must be like to be a touring artist and to be away from home for long stretches. It’s something we have taught our kids, Family is THE most important thing no matter what, always. It hits very close to home for our family. It’s our favorite song on Eye On It.
As Eye On It moves along, I have to think Toby is giving somewhat of a shout out musically to Sly and the Family Stone on “Thankful For You.” It took me back to bell-bottoms and AM radio again. No doubt, this is my favorite song.
“Made For Me” is a straight up shout out to Toby’s bride Amanda. I feel the same way about my girl Vivian, and this is certainly my personal favorite tune on Eye On It.
Is “Mac Daddy (Tru’s Reality)” really TruDog’s (Truett) contribution to Eye On It or is it Toby disguised as his son? The vocal similarity is amazing to that of his dad and could be the start of something for the future, as the vocal and mixing apple certainly did not fall from the tree here. Did I mention this might be my favorite cut on the project? (Pass the soul sauce please!)
Eye On It closes with a partnership with Jamie Grace and a bow to music and the message being our “Favorite Song.” It’s only appropriate that “Favorite Song” is my favorite song on Eye On It.
If you opt for the deluxe edition of Eye On It, you’ll get six extra tracks, all remixes. Five of them from Eye On It and an extra remix of TruDog’s “LoudNClear” from the Tonight album. All of the remixes themselves are excellent, containing more dub-step sounds than previously. Highlights include Jack Shocklee’s (Beckah Shae’s husband/producer) take on “Steal My Show and the Capital Light’s remix of “Lose Myself.”
Final analysis of Eye On It: the lyrics are deeper than we’ve ever heard from Toby, and the sound continues to evolve and grow as the music and technology to make it does. Eye On It is easily one of the top projects of 2012 that certainly features some of my favorite songs of the year.
From your favorite reviewer, Bill Lurwick.
Get your copy of either the regular or deluxe editions now thru iTunes at the links below!