“Journey of the Prodigal Son – WizARdry – Volume 5” is a brand new Christian hip-hop album by i.S. the WizARd a.k.a. Manoj V. Mathew. The album comes with 15 track and non-explicit lyrics in a traditional LP length.
A self-prophetic, Christian-faith based hip-hop/rap album is an intriguing concept, a rare treat in today’s crowded market.
Let’s dive into the tracks one by one:
Track 1: “Sunrise”
This album-opener comes with all the good traits of bright hip-hop: good lyrics, an R’n’B melody and a spitfire in Eminem style. It’s a lively upbeat for the mood and a signature sound introduction – good to listen.
Track 2: “Cleanse”
i.S. the WizARd combines the ‘90s melody-pop with on the spot rap over a live DJ style beat. It flies us back to the hero era of the genre; one feels the crowd, the lights and the vibe all around throughout the song. There is an interesting choice in the break and morphing it into a contra-person vocal.
Track 3: “1Day”
In this desire and determination focused track i.S. the WizARd depicts how hope can give the strength to rebuild and reconnect in one’s journey. The rhythm is – just like in the supporting music video – has the vibe of waves combined an oriental-style loop as the main theme. The pulsating rap fits to the atmosphere.
Track 4: “Resonant Resident”
The Spanish guitar centered music with upbeat style brings a smile that is counterbalanced with much heavier lyrics in this mid-tempo audio joyride.
Track 5: “Strength”
The album takes a turn here to a darker and heavier tone, in which a new character is brought to life by i.S. the WizARd. He does have meaningful thoughts in the lines – mainly focusing on the education. The music has a tone setting, supporting role; the song would stand as a freestyle spoken word, too.
Track 6: “Enough”
After a smooth transition from the previous track just in another style a tongue-in-a-cheek delivery makes the audience equally enjoy and think in; this time a marching delivery on the ones give an extra feeling before the abrupt ending.
Track 7: “DNi”
Once again i.S. the WizARd recalls his inner Marshall Matters in this anti-addiction rant wrapped in a character-playfulness; one of the strongest songs in the album. Even the dramatic piano and the loops are just the right ones.
Track 8: “Lifes Plan”
A deeper, semi-autobiographic style in this multi-faceted track; the chord choices set a darker tone in this retrospective view on life, with an important question we all need to ask ourselves.
Track 9: “Grind”
In this mid-tempo song i.S. the WizARd reaches back to his rap-battle roots and proves he still has the quickfire over the supporting beats. It is enjoyable to listen partly due to its vividness and live-feel.
Track 10: “Maintain”
A lighter toned music sample over broken beats would set the light mood, yet, the heavy lyrics are counterpointing it – a great ode to freestyle and a cutting reality check in the topic; yet, it is nowhere near a doom instead a search – a strong song, indeed.
Track 11: “Patience”
As it was the second half of the previous track, an inner monologue is harshly poured out with a great tempo and relatable words. The soothing vocal-melody is a nice addition just as the keyboard play behind the beats. i.S. the WizARd portrayal about the conflicted patient at the shrink is well-played and had genuine roots.
Track 12: “Power”
A sudden change in beats and tempo in this descriptive, God and prayer oriented song. It sounds like a raw, powerful offering of a solution for the issues and hardships – a nice treat to have a female vocal, too.
Track 13: “@anycost”
We are back at a quasi battle-rap freestyle and this time the atmosphere is set rightly to it. The whole vibe is a bit of an N.W.O. from their prime.
Track 14: “Safe Haven”
An important message is told about the individual choice and responsibility to accept the helping hand instead of the old ways – all supported by a late ‘80s pop-disco texture on the beats.
Track 15: “Prodigal”
The album namesake provides a relief and a much sunnier tone and delivery with sincere confession-type rap; a lovely change after the anger from earlier. This chill-hop is a great piece of art, probably the very best in the whole album.
Ultimately, “Journey of the Prodigal Son – WizARdry – Volume 5” is a uniquely qualified album with a signature sound and always interesting, pathfinding line of songs. Including heavy themes combined with remarkable storytelling and occasionally ear-catchy tunes and sometimes goose-bumping delivery with deeper thoughts i.S. the WizARd a.k.a. Manoj V. Mathew is definitely making his way up to deserve a seat at the table.
Listen to and follow i.S. the WizARd a.k.a. Manoj V. Mathew on his