Artist: Social Club
One thing I admire about Social Club is that they have always embraced their fans. I haven’t seen an actor, Christian or secular, cater to their fan circles as much as Social Club has. Don’t believe me? Just look at the impact. It’s hard to make a name for yourself in the music industry; it’s even harder to do it as Christian artist–and it’s even harder to do all of that without a record label. Yet, Social Club has accomplished that feat. As I’m creating this article, their album is number fourteen on the overall iTunes chart and number six on iTunes Hip-Hop/Rap charts. I rarely pay attention to chart positioning, but for Social Club to independently reach the top twenty on iTunes is a statement you cannot ignore.
So, by choosing to title their album, “Us,” I feel it continues to pay homage to their fans.
Usually, with Social Club, you have an album that’s fun and mostly good for the whole family. Us is no different, but there are a couple of drug references in the album. I suggest if you do let little ones listen to it, be mindful that there are a couple of lines on there that they probably shouldn’t hear right now.
Album Theme/Cover Art
The theme of the album is simple. It’s about us. When I say that, I really mean anybody. Honestly, you don’t even have to be a Social Club fan to understand the theme. Look at the album cover. It’s not anything too complicated. It’s just the word “Us.” That is until you look deeper. You see words like mercy, alive, prayer, creative, love, trendsetter, honest, etc. I think the album art is very “artistic” (another word that you will see embedded in the album cover). It causes you to look deeper, but always makes you realize that it is all about us.
Well, let’s start with the beginning of the album, “Viva La Misfit.” If you read some of my music reviews, you know how much I appreciate a good introduction. The introduction of Us did not disappoint. Granted, I was mildly disappointed because it wasn’t a real song like the intro to their Summer of George album, but it still set the tone. It featured Chris Durso, a youth pastor from New York City, who served the same purpose on their previous album release Misfits 2. He was in the middle of a passionate sermon that mentions the impact that we can have when our opposition tries to stop “us.”
The album has that Social Club vibe that people have grown to love. The lead two singles for the album were “Heavy Hand” and “Sky Lanterns.” While both songs may sound different, they both had the weird feel that you sense when you listen to the duo. When it comes to “Heavy Hand,” you have to admire the way they used the word “pineapples” to describe people that, one could say, irritates them. Some people don’t appreciate the term, but I enjoy it personally. I myself know a couple of pineapples.
The seventh track on the album “Pretty in Pink” features Skrip, and it reminds me of a love ballad. I always enjoy these “love songs” that Social Club creates. It sounds so awkward, but so real and honest. Martymar and Fern complimented well on this song. We know by now that their styles are different, and it shows in this track. Especially when you consider the fact that Marty is still single and Fern is happily married with two kids. So it not only shows a different style as far as rapping goes, but with their lifestyles as well.
My favorite song on the album was easily “Martyrs.” The title alone is bold enough to capture your attention. In the song, Marty mentions how he was late finding out his sister was engaged. I can’t imagine the pain that he felt that day. Family seems important to him, and you can feel the hurt he is expressing in this song. Even through all of that, he knows that he’s hurting himself for further gain. Thus the title being, “Martyrs.” Fern also made references to past pains that he had to endure to get where he is today too.
Speaking of Fernie’s past, while listening to the album, I noticed that Fern continues to talk about it. That’s a good thing, it kind of shows you a little of who he is as a person. However, it seems to me that he has moved away from mentioning how he spent five years in prison, and is now talking about the drugs and lifestyle that led him to prison in the first place. What that shows me is that he’s not only growing as a person, but he is able to input that growth into his music. The result is shown in his solo song “Café Con Leche.”
Martymar has his own solo song on the album as well called “Carpe Diem.” It’s an upbeat piece where Marty talks about his dealings in life. He talks about how much he as to travel, and how he struggling going to school, and of course, some girl issues. It’s a classic Martymar song.
There is a reason why I talked about Marty’s and Fern’s solo songs on Us. It is because of a facebook post on the group’s page on February 13th:
“Plot Twist: Fern & Marty will be dropping solo CDs this year. #US
#US is bigger than a cd.
It represents how no matter where we go, what we do, we will always be Misfits.”
I was excited to hear this news because that means we will get something different from the duo even if that means that they won’t be doing it together.
So, going into this album, I knew that this wasn’t going to be a full-fledged one, and kind of a buffer to Marty’s and Fern’s solo projects that they would be releasing this year. Still I was disappointed in the number of tracks that they had on the album. However, it was still a very good album and certainly on par with their other releases.
Now, for the next stage we get to see how these two perform as solo artists. One thing is for sure, I don’t think solo projects will result in the group splitting. I think they have a bond with God, and a bond with each other that is too strong to separate them. So even though Us is the last album they put out together before their solo releases, I believe that it was a necessary album to get us ready for their solos.
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The Bottom Line
Us was a very nice album to groove to. It will get heavy play once the summer weather hits. Yes, it wasn’t really too long of an album, but it still has substance and further shows the talent and creativity of the duo.