by JC PORTIS
What’s happening, folks? JC here for Tystenac’s Dragon Fire Music Reviews! After a few weeks of listening and trying to dissect it, I’ve decided to tackle a full album: Andy Mineo’s Uncomfortable.
You’re probably thinking, “Who the heck is Andy Mineo?” Well, then a little background is in order. Andy Mineo (once called C-Lite) hails from Syracuse, New York. Working as a producer in high school and a rapper for the first few years after that, Andy took a turn, in what some would consider the right direction, and dedicated his life to Christianity. After two years of working with other Christian hip-hop artists, he signed to Reach Records in 2011. In the next four years, he would go on to release a well-received mixtape and three albums, with his newest one, Uncomfortable, just dropping September 18 of this year.
Uncomfortable has proven to so far have a great release. Peaking at number 10 on the Billboard 200, it quickly fell for more mainstream music, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be reviewed. And that’s exactly what I plan to do.
The title track of the album opens with an attractive few keys, and Mineo begins to sing, “Nobody told me you could die like this. Nobody told me you could die from bliss. Nobody told me, nobody told me. Corrupted by the comfort we love.” From there, the song becomes a tale of society about trying live in comfortable shells and not wanting to face reality. It describes how people feel like they can have it all, but not praise God. Mineo even goes as far as to apologize for his community by saying, “I apologize for Christians with pickets saying, ‘God hates fags.’ I promise Jesus wouldn’t act like that.” This line tells you how this album will play out; Mineo is not afraid to crack into the serious issues and makes you want to listen to the rest of the album.
The next song “Uptown,” is a nice transition, with its New York jazz style. It continues the message by almost speaking of Uptown New York as if it’s an unattainable wonderland of comfort that you can only dream of. Once in New York, your life’s taken care of. This song is very mellow but keeps its beat lively and interesting, which is what I look for in a hip-hop song. If you can slow it down but still keep the beat strong, you’ve succeeded in my book.
Up next is “Now I Know,” A song that basically seems as though it’s out to ruin your childhood. It dissects how our parents tell us every little lie. Santa, wrestling, and the automatic doors you point to and open: all of it isn’t real and as you grow older, you realize it. All the illusions we are told as children are just that illusions. And as you grow older, you learn and know the truth hence the premise of the song.
“Desperados,” a tune that utilizes trumpets to give it a vague western battle sound, talks about the struggle to be true to yourself. Mineo himself does not sugar coat it: he’s as straight forward as possible, almost as if he’s firing off shots like a desperado. He may be wanted for death because he tells the truth, but he doesn’t care. The tune keeps you pumped and hooked as the words are delivered. It’s almost the kind of song you’d hear in a saloon band show.
The last song I’d like to make special note of is the last song on the album, “Make me a Believer.” It is almost a message to God asking, “Why do you make my challenges so hard? They test my faith to a point where I want to cry out, ‘Make me believe.’” It’s a deep-toned ballad that is a great way to end the album. It delivers a cry of hope, a cry of help, and an attractive melody that makes you feel the emotion in the words.
Uncomfortable is an album that anyone can simply love, whether your desire to listen is faith driven or not. It can open the blinds over your eyes to the truth of the world. The other songs in the album: “Hear my Heart,” “David’s Roof," “Rat Race,” and "Know That’s Right," “Vendetta,” “Ghost,” and “Love,” all deliver the message spelled out in highlighted songs the same way, but they go more in depth with their specific points. I give this album the coveted honor of “It’s Dragon Fire, y'all!” and I highly recommend it to you. It’s on Amazon for $11, and the entire album is on the Reach Records YouTube channel, as well, so check it out.
Until next time, this is JC, signing off.