The Art of Translation

Those boys from Tennessee are back.

This time around, GRITS (Coffee and Bonafide) blaze with an eclectic blend of thought-provoking lyrics, an assortment of beats and a handful of special guests.

The Art of Translation is their fourth project on Gotee Records, and the opening cut, "Here We Go" sets the scene. It's a funky party jam that blends a dope dirty south beat with some salsa samples. Peep the chorus:

He feel it, she feel it, we feel it
So round and round we go
He feel it, she feel it, we feel it
Aaaah here we go
He gon' get up, she gon' get up, we gon' get up
Lockin' down the joint til' the playa haters shut up
Take you to outer limits, flawless with no gimmicks
I imitate but can't get it
Aaaah here we go

GRITS are known for inspiring their listeners to think about their life with Christ and they continue this trend with "Ooh Ahh" and "Believe". On the former, they express their CD desire to be more like Christ in the middle of this sinful world, and do so over a Incorporated Elements mid-tempo beat laced with a nice piano. Toby Mac drops in to add flava like only he can on this jam.

"Believe" features rock/CCM singer and labelmate Jennifer Knapp in a song which challenges the unbeliever to hold onto the Truth over the deception of the world. With Knapp singing a beautifully soulful hook along with acoustic guitar, and with a beat reminiscent of The Beastie Boys' "Paul Revere", this song is a sure hit —on multi-formats even.

Knowdaverbs guests on "Video Girl", giving his blunt take on the way women are portrayed on mainstream music videos. Bonafide and Coffee talk about the joys of a God-inspired relationship on "Be Mine", a feel-good song featuring stuttering beat, lush guitars and a beautiful violin sample. Newcomer Nirva Dorsaint drops groovy vocals on the jammy "Sunny Day".

If there was ever any question of whether GRITS are pure lyricists, listen to the hardcore "Get It", where Bon and Cof hold their own. Coffee's verse on this song goes:

Bass how low can you go
Evangelic shatter false hope like a useless relic
I'm an animal covered with hair insides mechanical
Guardin my heart like I'm botanical
I'm snatchin Satan's mandible...
Pain cant be quenched or vanquished
My anger rise up its ludicrous the way I throw dem bows
And swell his eyes up ain't that cute

The dirty south is truly represented on the riotously fun and past-paced, "Tennessee Boys", a CD shout-out to the state that GRITS call their own. The song puts you in the mindset of 95 South and Tag Team.

In total, GRITS show their veteran skills by blending alternative rock, hip-hop, and pop without sacrificing their rep with the heads. Production that excels takes the project to that legendary next level, and the album moves the soul, body and spirit.

There is no need for a translator to know that The Art of Translation is GRITS' most thought-provoking, God-inspired album to date.

Producers: Incorporated Elements, GRITS, Teron Carter, Kene Bell, Stacy Jones
album release date: August, 2002
Gotee Records

— reviewed by Dwayne Lacy

  All content in GospelFlava copyright 2002. No information to be reprinted or re-broadcast from this site without the expressed written consent of GospelFlava.com. All rights reserved.

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