Compilation albums are always interesting. I call them the double-edge swords of hip-hop. The reason is because everyone always wants a compilation and they get real hype before its release, but after the release, it usually doesn’t meet expectations. The dream match-ups usually don’t live up to the hype, and the whole thing seems a bit pedestrian. It’s a great idea that stirs up a lot of excitement but doesn’t always deliver.
Upstart record label Grace and Peace Records is taking on this challenge with the labels first record Glimpses of Grace. This is everything you could want in a compilation. There are big name emcees: Braille, Eshon Burgundy, K-Drama, Stephen the Levite, Young Joshua and Timothy Brindle. Big name producers: Wes Pendleton, K-Drama and DJ Essence. The tracklist is strong and has created some excitement around the record. This is everything you would expect from a compilation and is a great start for Grace and Peace Records.
Can Glimpses of Grace break the stereotype that often comes with compilation albums? Does this project provide anything different from any other album like it?
3 Things That Make Glimpses of Grace Different
In most cases, compilation albums don’t have concepts. Usually it’s too hard to get a bunch of different artists all on the same page, headed toward the same direction. Concepts aren’t even expected on compilation albums, so going into my experience with Glimpses of Grace, I wasn’t even thinking about it. With all of that being said, I was completely caught off guard by the continual concept that was on this record.
The concept isn’t real deep and complex, but it’s consistent. On a compilation it doesn’t have to be deep. It just being there is impressive. To match the album title and namesake of the record label, there is a constant theme of grace throughout and was touched on in a variety of ways on the record. Which was also impressive to see how many different ways it would be incorporated throughout. Having this constant theme tied the record together in a way that was unexpected but much appreciated.
Something else that isn’t often found on a compilation is continuity. With a collection of different artists that do different things, it is hard to find a rhythm and consistency between them. Most compilations don’t have a clear direction, which makes it all the more difficult. Glimpses of Grace is different in that aspect because there is a clear direction and that helps with the continuity.
Each artist was heading in a similar direction, which brought out the continuity. Also, the way the album was set up helped with this as well. The tracks seemed to flow together and the overall sound was good. Glimpses of Grace was a very clever record. It was thought out well,and because of that, this record is different from most other compilations
Another thing not found on compilations a lot of the times is balance. What I mean by balance is the quality of each track. Normally on compilations, there is a drop off of quality level from the bigger name artists to the lesser known ones. Glimpses of Grace didn’t have many of these drop offs. All the way through there was a strong balance.
The Balance of this record was even more important because it made my first two points possible. This record benefits greatly from the balance that was created. With some of the big names present on this record it wouldn’t have been surprising if they carried this record. That wasn’t the case on Glimpses of Grace though. Artists like Disciple, Sivion, Sistah Dee and Ant had great tracks. They provided the great depth and balance, that helped make such a solid record.
Stand Out Tracks
“Grace and Mercy” – Disciple
If you weren’t too familiar with Disciple before this track then you will definitely remember him after. This was one of the show stealing tracks for me. Disciple had strong verses and a good flow, on top of solid production. All that makes for a song that will be played again and again.
“Not Worth It” – Sivion
I’ve heard this name bounced around a few times, and now I see why. Sivion has a good flow and he’s a talented lyricist. This was showcased on this song, which had me immediately playing it again. “Not Worth It” is one of the better songs on the entire record.
“Take Me As I Am” – Eshon Burgundy
This is classic Eshon Burgundy. It had great production, timeless flow and incredible lyricism. This record is the star of the album. It’s everything you hope for and expect from Eshon.
Overall, Glimpses of Grace is a solid record. I was surprised at how well it came together. From the message to the music, it was a beautiful record. There was a wide variety of sound that will engage different types of hip-hop fans and is a good record for any hip-hop fan to have. The records has good songs from some of your favorite artists. It also has good songs from some artists that you need to hear. Glimpses of Grace accomplishes everything a compilation could hope to achieve.