Artist: Group 1 Crew
Overall Album Vibe: ‘Fearless,’ is the 4th studio album from Fervent Records’ artist Group 1 Crew. The new album has a very personal touch thanks to the duo’s (Blanca Callahan & Manwell Reyes) help in writing or co-writing of all the songs found on the release. During the time of making the album they had to deal with morphing from a trio to a duo (gone is former band member Pablo Villatoro) along with the passing of Blanca’s father and learning how to balance newlywed life (She got married to the group’s drummer Ben Callahan) along with their heavy touring schedule. Stylistically the group’s sound has spread its wings to encompass several different styles including, hip-hop, dance, rap, pop and rock. The group’s co-vocalists set up has Manwell Reyes handling the majority of rap lyrics while Blanca Reyes Callahan lends her vocal talents to most of the lyrical vocals. Blanca says that, “On this record, we’re able to incorporate all the different styles of music that we love and it’s a fun thing that a lot of bands don’t get to do. We’ll go from hip-hop to an inspirational ballad, but that’s just how we think, kind of like an iPod shuffle.” Highlight tracks from the album include up-tempo pop songs like “He Said” that I’m sure you’ve been hearing on your radio. The track features well known Christian artist Chris August and deals with not just going thru the motions in your faith life and the power that comes from knowing and truly believing in God’s Word. And “Fearless,” that deals with riding out life’s storms in God’s hands; stepping out in faith and not giving up. “Not The End Of Me,” is a melodic piano lead track that was inspired by an interview the group done a little while back that included talking with 13-18 year old kids that included talking about teens struggling over relationship break ups to the point of even considering suicide. The song offers hope that it’s not the end and in time you’ll overcome the pain you’re feeling now. Blanca puts it this way, “this is not the end of you. It only makes you stronger in the end.” The track, “Stepping Out” is another very well done piano lead ballad that deals with not being afraid to step out in your faith life. A Group 1 Crew release wouldn’t be complete without some fun club/ dance music and you’ll find several good ones on, ‘Fearless,’ including the full blown techno/club/dance effects filled track, “Freq Dat.”
Review Tagline: While Group 1 Crew’s music is filled spiritual themes on their new release, ‘Fearless,’ they do a very nice job of spreading their musical wings mixing several different styles that help them to meet one of their goals of reaching out to not only Christian but also to secular audiences.
Standout Tracks: “Fearless”, “He Said (Feat. Chris August)”, “Not the End of Me”, “Steppin Out”, “Freq Dat”
Review by C.W. Ross