Group 1 Crew [Fearless] | Posted September 04, 2012 Staff Reviewer
As noted by Blanca and Manwell of Group 1 Crew, the title and theme of the record, Fearless, arose from a turbulent period for the group. While creating the album, they faced numerous challenges including evolving from a trio to a duo, the passing of Blanca’s father and learning how to balance newlywed life with a heavy touring schedule. Blanca and Manwell confronted these tests and have emerged stronger than ever before.Fearless takes listeners on a lyrical journey through the truths that they faced over the past couple years.
Regarding recent number one hit song "He Said" featuring Chris August, complete confidence in and reliance upon the grace of God is the theme of this great new song. God has called Christians to become mature and complete, as first fruits of all He created. This is so high a calling and so valuable an attainment that we may consider even trials along the way pure joy! The three singers blend perfectly and bring home the biblical truth of the song--that God will never leave or forsake us. This song really has an uplifting message and challenges listeners to think about whether they are trusting God in times of trouble. Are we understanding that God won’t give us more than we can handle and know that sometimes trials are meant to refine us and draw us closer to God? Like in the hymn “Refiner’s Fire”—we are meant to be refined to be more like Jesus and as the song reminds us, “Don't you forget what He said!” Amen!
What’s especially cool about “He Said” is how by featuring Chris August in the song, this truly is a departure from the hip-hop style of the band and will remind you of some of August’s hit contemporary songs like “Battle” and “Starry Night” while still featuring Manwell’s and Blanca’s signature harmonies and bold Gospel message. For me, that’s a notable distinction on every song from this great new album. Some of the songs reflecting biblical messages include “His Kind Of Love,” “The Difference,” “Dangerous,” “Fearless,” “Not The End of Me” and “Steppin’ Out.” Each of these songs features lyrics professing reliance on God such as in “His Kind of Love”—“This is our God, He is strong and His mercy is our song.” The blend of Blanca and Manwell’s vocals on “Dangerous” is a highlight as Blanca belts out: “Whatever it takes, I want You to make, make me more like You... I want to live dangerous.” Also in the bridge of “Fearless”—“If You’re with me, who can be against me.” For those looking for Group 1 Crew’s more traditional hip-hop dance style, that can be found in “Goin’ Down,” “Darkest Valley,” which features poignant and personal lyrics based on Psalm 23, “Night Of My Life” and “Freq Dat.”
Fearless is truly is a departure from the hip-hop style of the band and are musically more in the style of “He Said” and “Walking On The Stars” with Blanca’s strong vocals prominently featured. For me, this is a welcome change as I’ve always enjoyed her vocals and each of these songs is a potential radio hit. Each song also features a bold Gospel message, like in their hit song “Keys To The Kingdom.” For me, that’s a notable distinction on every song from this great new album. As much as I enjoyed the catchy melodies from Outta Space Love, every song is Gospel message focused on Fearless. As “He Said” rose to the top of the charts, I expect several of these songs to also resonate with radio listeners, especially “His Kind Of Love,” “The Difference,” “Dangerous,” “Fearless,” “Not The End of Me” and “Steppin’ Out.”