- Released: April 23, 2013
- Label: Forefront
Entertainment Weekly - 12/22/95, p.68
"...successfully...combines textured vocals, aggressive guitar, and solid songwriting..." - Rating: B+
Vibe - 3/96, p.133
"...while the music is a keen fusion of rock, soul, and bits of rap, JESUS FREAK'S themes are as timeless as the faith DC Talk reshape for a generation bombarded by grunge and gangsta grooves..."
- 1.So Help Me God
- 2.Colored People
- 3.Jesus Freak
- 4.What If I Stumble?
- 5.Day By Day
- 6.Mrs. Morgan
- 7.Between You and Me
- 8.Like It, Love It, Need It
- 9.Jesus Freak (Reprise)
- 10.In the Light
- 11.What Have We Become?
- 12.Mind's Eye
- 13.Alas My Love
DC Talk: Kevin Max Smith, Michael Tait, Toby McKeehan (vocals).
Additional personnel includes: Charlie Peacock (vocals); Ronn Huff (conductor); John Painter (guitar, accordion, bass); Jerry McPherson (guitar, mandolin); Dann Huff (guitar, programming); Dave Perkins, Oran Thornton, Sean Turner, George Cocchini (guitar); Shawn McWilliams (mandolin, drums); Dennis Soley (flute); Mark Heimermann (piano, Hammond B-3 organ, Wurlitzer, keyboards, Moog synthesizer, acoustic bass, finger cymbals, programming); Otto Price, Brent Milligan (bass); Scott Williamson, Will Denton (drums); Terry McMillan (percussion); Todd Collins (drums, percussion, programming); Greg Herrington (programming).
Producers: Toby McKeehan, Mark Heimermann (tracks 1-3, 5-9); Toby McKeehan, Mark Heimermann, John Painter (track 4).
Engineers: Joe Baldridge, Todd Robbins, Russ Long, Lynn Fuston (tracks 1-3, 5-9); Joe Baldridge, Todd Robbins, Russ Long (track 4).
Recorded at House Of Insomnia and Fun Attic Studio, Franklin, Tennessee.
All songs written or co-written by Toby McKeehan and Mark Heimermann except "Colored People" (Toby McKeehan/George Cocchini), "What If I Stumble?" (Toby McKeehan/Daniel Joseph), "Day By Day" (Stephen Schwartz/Toby McKeehan/Kevin Smith) and "In The Light" (Charlie Peacock/Toby McKeehan).
JESUS FREAK won the 1997 Grammy Award for Best Rock Gospel Album.
"I don't really care if they label me a Jesus Freak...there ain't no disguising the truth." That line shows how Kevin Smith, Michael Tait and Toby McKeehan of dc Talk wear their Christianity on their sleeve. They also, as the saying goes, rock the bells. In other words, they have a message, but the music doesn't ever take a backseat. From "Help Me God" to "Between You And Me," these songs are intelligent and sincere, but are above all, powerful rock and roll tunes.
dc Talk preaches a gospel of color blindness, honesty, and simple kindness, wrapped in a guitar-based sound that mixes '70s-type strings and thick backing harmonies with '90s attitude and rhythms. It also helps that there's more than a little Red Hot Chili Peppers influence lurking under the hood.
Personnel: dc Talk (vocals).
Audio Mixer: Joe Baldridge.
Audio Remasterer: Ted Jensen.
Recording information: Fun Attic Studio, Franklin, TN; House Of Insomnia, Franklin, TN; The Sanctuary.
Photographers: Joe Baldridge; Toby McKeehan.
After building a dedicated following with three albums of Christian hip-hop, dc Talk make a play for crossover success with Jesus Freak. As the title indicates, the group members haven't abandoned their religious base. What they have done is expand their musical palette. Retaining a solid hip-hop foundation, the trio add elements of soul, psychedelic rock, and pop, making Jesus Freak their most ambitious album to date. It also happens to be their best. dc Talk fuse their diverse influences together with style and grace, making the music sound seamless. The lyrics frequently avoid standard cliches, managing to celebrate Christianity without sounding preachy. With its musical diversity and well-crafted lyrics, Jesus Freak is the album that will convince secular listeners that dc Talk is worth a listen. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine