BEST THIRD RELEASE 2007 Award Winner!
Honorable Mentions: Falling Up (Captiva), (The Blood).
Portable Sounds kicks off with “One World” (featuring Siti Monroe), a great, feel-good opener. tobyMac is back and in fine form on this third release, as this song easily shows.
Next up is “Made To Love”, an excellent, rhythmic, medium Rock track.
“Boomin'” is another excellent track, this one full Rock. There is also a hilarious, short mock-opera segue afterwards, performed by .
“I’m For You” is an uplifting Rock track with equally uplifting lyrics.
“Face Of The Earth” is a slower, softer track, with an easygoing Pop/Rock chorus. Its lyrics describe true friendship and what it means, among other things. There is another humorous segue afterwards.
The slowdown doesn’t last for long — the next track “No Ordinary Love” is a great, groovy, head-bobbing-beat track that features bandmember Nirva Dorsaint-Ready in a much more up-front role.
“Ignition” is easily the best track on the album, and one of tobyMac’s best tracks to date. It features quite loud and heavy Rock. It was co-written by (and contains some guitars from) Trevor McNevan of Thousand Foot Krutch, and it definitely shows that influence. It’s a perfect collaboration. [: This track was actually featured in Superbowl XLIII on February 1st, 2009 as the two football teams entered the field!]
“Hype Man (truDog ’07)” is yet another track from tobyMac’s son Truett, a.k.a. truDog. Under the mentorship of his talented Dad, truDog has gotten better and better each appearance. This track is just great, and there is some absolutely hilarious interaction between them, too!
“Suddenly” musically rides the loud edge of Pop/Rock / Rock, and has a hopeful lyrical message.
“All In (Letting Go)” is a bit slower, but still good; it even gets a little rhythmic in the final bridge. There is yet another humorous segue at the end , serving as a perfect intro to the following track.
“Feelin’ So Fly” picks up the pace with a definite old-school dance feel, but massively updated and upgraded into an excellent, classy, rockingly danceable track.
“No Signal” (technically a segue) is a sweet and funny short song about missing family while on the road.
And the last track is “Lose My Soul” (featuring and ), which is rhythmic, medium-paced, and has a good parting message. There is also one last segue afterward, called “Afterparty”, which is basically a short “Lose My Soul” reprise.
The Limited Deluxe Edition comes with a DVD (cleverly titled Portable Sights ), which contains the following bonus material.
“A Producer’s View Of Portable Sounds“: This is a very good short interview/commentary with tobyMac and the other producer about the concept of (and the making of) the record, among other things.
“Introducing Diverse City”: This is an excellent, quite funny (especially near the end), and very insightful feature letting you inside the Diverse City Band. It contains both impromptu group clips while eating lunch and single-interview clips in a studio that include the telling of hilarious road stories about auditions, live shows, and etc., and also some great explanations of the amazing variety, diversity, and feeling of family in the band.
A two-part “Behind-The-Scenes at the Boomin’ Video Shoot” is, well, a behind-the-scenes of that video shoot , including chats with its producers and even some of the extras.
And also included are all 5 of tobyMac’s music videos to date.
In all, this is a great album, and worthy of Best Third Release.