I had the pleasure of meeting Cheno Lyfe a few years ago, and being that we’re both in Florida, we run into each other every now and then at events.  Upon meeting him initially, I noticed that this brother is more ministry minded than industry and music minded, and instantly I became a fan of not just his music, but also his mission in ministry.  Cheno Lyfe has returned to us with his long awaited follow up to his debut album Home.  The Miami native brings us his sophomore album entitled Lunar.

When you’re from the south, people don’t expect much musically creative to come from you and in that, there is frustration and freedom.  I listened to Lunar hoping to hear Cheno take some risk musically, and to my delight the opening track, “Lunar,” displayed Cheno styling almost poetically over a hip-hop infused dub step track, which set the tone for the rest of the album as I looked forward to hearing this body of work as a whole.  Though I was elated to hear musical growth on tracks like the previously mentioned “Lunar” and “Runaway,” featuring SPZRKT, I still longed to hear that undeniable southern sound, and without fail, Cheno delivered “Cut the Lights On,” featuring southern “crunk” veteran Pettidee.  On this track, Cheno addresses the illusion of living the “thug life” and how it’s imperative to see it for what it is, a trap which only ends in self destruction.

Other southern head nodders include “Stick Up” and “SCMGWP,” featuring Social Club.  These days you can expect a CCM crossover attempt from most HHH artists.  Why?  Who knows, but it’s happening.  I think it’s dope that sub genres can blend within one another for the common goal of preaching the Gospel.  With that being said, Cheno offers “Won’t Back Down,” an inspirational cut that encourages the listener to never quit in the face of opposition and believing that when we fall, God will pick us up.  This song has a great message, nice composition, and with good promotion, it should do great on the CCM circuit.  Other notable tracks include “My Life,” “Greater,” and “Higher,” which in my opinion, is the high point of the album, no pun intended.

As we all know, “pobody’s nerfect” and neither are many albums.  The song, “Forever” seemed out of place, forced and lyrically/conceptually below par compared to the rest of the album.  I’m not a fan of the love songs, but as a married man of God, I understand these songs have their place.  In my opinion “Real” and “You Are” are essentially the same songs, but if I had to choose one, it would be “You Are” because of the dope organs on the beat and the feature by Rey King.

Overall, Lunar shines in most areas and displays a more balanced, thoughtful, and creative artist in Cheno Lyfe.

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