Disclaimer: All views presented in this Album Review are those of the reviewer and not of DJ Wade-O.
Concluding a seven-year hiatus from his last studio album, Sean Simmonds comes back to the game with a strong follow-up album. The album is laced with several featured collaborations with well-known artists including Christon Gray, Derek Minor and JGivens, it provides an even balance of musicality for CHH fans as well as R&B fans.
The Xist Music artist is definitely making his presence known and felt during a time period in CHH where albums are dropping on a consistent basis with solid production and quality. He stays true to the title of the album Borne IDentity as he dissects different aspects of life that we all face, and causes the listener to do a self-evaluation.
The album, Borne Identity, emphasizes on knowing one’s identity in Christ and realizing the power that we have in Christ. Sean Simmonds begins the album with an attention grabbing track titled “For The Record”, emphasizing the new life that is found in Christ and the importance of leaving behind the old life of sin.
The song “So Many Levels” featuring JGivens and Gemstones is an immediate banger that you cannot help but nod your head to at the opening beat drop. Each artist on the track delivers strong lyricism and tells the listener that life in Christ puts you on a level above mediocrity, and the things that used to catch your attention no longer look attractive compared to life in Christ. Both featured artists are known for their crafty lyricism, so you have to pay attention in order to catch the message that they are trying to convey.
The track “In My Zone” talks about denying sin and staying focused on God and living the lifestyle of a Christian and not just talking about it. Throughout the track, Sean Simmonds takes the listener on a journey and informs us to not allow people’s opinions and thoughts to affect how we live our daily lives. Throughout the chorus he mentions how God is there for us even when we are wrong. The song as a whole provides a very smooth and clean listen.
Another classic on the album, “Triple Xrown” featuring Derek Minor, tells us that we gain nothing from boasting on materialistic possessions if we cannot acknowledge the God who provides the gifts. It’s an in-your-face message to the world basically saying that, “money, power, and respect” is not the key to life… Jesus is. The track will resonate well with CHH fans who like catchy hooks and a simple message that’s relatable.
The overall sound for the album is clean. There’s a pretty even balance of uptempo, rap beats and laid-back tracks with more of an R&B feel to them. The album is well produced as Sean Simmonds has some pretty solid producers on the project such as Courtney Orlando, formerly known as J.R.. Sean also takes his turn in producing on his own album with the track “5 Below”. Most of the album was produced by a producer named Anthem, who produced the bangers “So Many Levels”, “In My Zone”, and “Triple Xrown”.
Overall, the album is well produced, the lyrical content is solid, biblical and is relevant to our society. Sean Simmonds delivered a strong album and discusses issues that will speak to the hearts of his listeners. If you are not familiar with Sean Simmond’s other two studio albums, True Story and It’s Over, this will be a good project to become familiar with his work.
The topics of love, relationships, materialism, character and so much more are mentioned throughout this album and the listener will be challenged to honestly look at their own lives, and also be encouraged and motivated to pursue God without fear through the lyrics of Sean Simmonds and the featured artists.