Sinema embraces a theatrical-like plot between Allen Swoope and Mya Desirae (My Desire) smothered in temptation while overshadowed by the daily battle men struggle with in lust as the starring role. Swoope’s third full release portrays a summer blockbuster tagged as one of the most prolific concept albums released since the likes of Sho Baraka’s Talented 10th. This project intertwines tracks seamlessly together like movie scenes building the relationship between Swoope and Mya similar to a twisted love story. Swoope ingeniously describes how desire and lust are masked behind individuals from the innocent to that of a horrific beast. Swoope emits a first person vantage point of how Christian males are subject to the terrors of lust in many forms and how one is to deal with such consequences if temptation succeeds. His imagination leads the listener through many highs and lows ending with a cinematic climax begging for an encore. Regardless if each of the 12-track production directly affects the struggles of the protagonist, one can close their eyes and become artistically led through themes we’ve all experienced at some point. The story unfolds.
Voicemail snippets replace movie clips as the plot unravels between tracks. The title track releases the plot, in its two-faced form, known as our inner desire. A desire to pursue love wrapped in either temptation or the genuine alternative God calls men to follow. Swoope digs into the depth of the addictive nature temptation presents in “On My Mind.” He pinpoints the mindset males possess when intrigued by a female counterpart. J.R., the first star of the supporting cast lineup, lends a beautiful assist on the hook.
The storyline picks back up within the lyrics of “LSD,” Swoope’s first single released from this project. He relates the evils of lust similar to the addictive nature of drugs, hence the title. The video cements the war men face daily with the desires towards another female when already involved in a sturdy relationship. As men, this is a problem faced daily, rarely with success to avoid sin. Labelmate Christon Grey adds a soulful melody to drive home the desires faced on the day-to-day from the heart. Bridging into “Bow Down,” the mindset of Swoope is exposed challenging us to chose a side: lustful desires or the desires of God. The good verses evil battle of the flesh is masterfully exposed on this track.
“Best of Me” is the turning point of the production. A light emits brightly. Consequences of sin turn to victory. Natalie Sims’s (fka Suzy Rock) soulful overtones point to victory in Jesus as the road to faithfulness. As we all experience when we feel God’s grasp over a situation, the echoes of the flesh grow louder and stronger. Enter “Right Side.” Which side will be chosen when circumstance demands an immediate response?
“Beauty and the Beast” submits itself as a final outcry of sin. The beauty depicted as God and the beast depicted as sin, the struggle lives on. Lyrics such as “Lust in her eyes, death on her tongue,” confirm the intention of our flesh. Who wins?
As men, we all crave an orchestrated battle scene before the climax is revealed. The combination of “Before Goodnight” and “Sin In Me” provide an emotional battle proven to satisfy such cravings. Within the voices of Mya and Swoope, desperation is revealed. How many of us have uttered the words of “I don’t really know what I’m doing here” when we ignore the Spirit within to satisfy the appeal of temptation? When a direct relation to a topic is formed, the project handcrafts a new personal meaning to the listener. A climax is on the horizon. Sinema concludes with “Fix My Heart.” Swoope and Propaganda solidify a heart of worship, offering praises to the mastermind that protects from the evils of desire when fueled by lust and temptation.
In avoidance of a spoiler alert, two tracks went unmentioned. Although indirectly related to the storyline, Swoope and the featured cast included are worthy of multiple listens. Each of these tracks certifies Swoope as one of the best in his genre.
Swoope’s overall audio scripting depicts the details of Psalm 7 as godly men are warned of immoral women and the traps within. He closes with the encouragement and rewards written in James 1:12-16 promising a crown of glory to those who endure the crafty trials of temptation. We are all faltered creations in sin only to be redeemed by God’s everlasting love. Swoope and Mya’s interactions mimic the trials and tribulations men face on a regular basis. The concept, production, and mindset behind this project are worthy of an Academy Award for “Best Picture.” Hollywood beware. Sinema has classic written all over it.