How the Story Ends is an edgy, reflective junior effort from the young, relatively unknown artist that brought us hits under the pop radar like Comeback Kid, Antidote and Awestruck. And before you make jokes about the fact that people often mispronounce his name, let’s give B. Reith a chance to shine. Brian James Reith, originally from Wisconsin, has been working diligently to solidify his niche as a white contemporary Christian rapper. His content is solid, witty, and catchy. And everyone knows that catchy sells music; if not albums, music.
So in three words this album is: catchy, colourful and clever. Reith gets off to a running start with Next Move and loops through toe-tapping hooks and thoughtful verses. How The Story Ends was released in early November of last year, and remains one of my favourite, unknown albums of 2011. With his album hitting #5 on the iTunes chart in November. The first of his three albums to do so.
Despite limited success on mainstream charts, his talent and intellect are obvious. Previously signed to Gotee Records this album is his first for his new label. But being signed to a recording label is probably the only conventional thing about him. His knack for producing and performing feel good music goes against the grain. For his fans this album will fit naturally and consciously into his collection of clever commentary, and let’s face it…white take on contemporary christian hip hop.
For his critics this album may strike a new chord with cameos from artists like Lisa Gungor of the collective formally known as Gungor, Atlanta based hip-hop artist Lecrae, and Maroon 5’s keyboardist PJ Morton. As such this studio album more than adequately bridges his maturity with his insatiable desire to speak not only to his fans, but to a broader audience, and beyond the teenagers at your local church’s youth group.
With twelve unorthodox takes B. Reith redefines what urban faith inspired music should sound like. With ‘Meant for More’ as a personal favourite, the ebb and flow of the album is a delight of genres. Next Move is a high energy starter, with subtle swinger background vocals. It is a clever ode to the yearly mid-life crisis that occurs when you have to make a pivotal decision. Simple Days, released month’s ahead of the official album release speaks clearly and kindly to the artist that B. Reith is. Seeking always to be relevant, his message is clear, listen to the details—they are vital.
Made for More, boldly stands as the soul searching transition between the superficial assumptions one makes about the future of Contemporary Christian music and the fusion of genres that is its reality. With his impeccable vocal range B. Reith shifts along chords, seamlessly switching between lead and background vocals; presenting potent and thoughtful lyrical content and displaying ballads alongside rap bars to keeps us listening.
B. Reith has accomplished a unique balance with a mix of genres, tempered by a kalediscope of subject matter and Contemporay Christian music is better for it. But don’t take my word for it, go and find out How the Story Ends.