Renovating Diverse City
Fans responded well to the remix of his first solo effort, Momentum, so in the wake of Tobymac's Dove Award-winning sophomore album, Welcome to Diverse City, the former Toby McKeehan undoubtedly thought, "Why not?" Renovating->Diverse City is a lean but buoyant collection that never overstays its welcome, despite appearing just a little over a year after the original. Some of these remixes aren't tweaked very severely. Neither the "Shortwave Radio" version of "Burn for You" nor "Getaway Car" sound much different beyond their amplified rhythms. (A more drastically reimagined "Burn for You" is available as a bonus track.) However, Christopher Stevens and Brent Milligan transform the anthemic guitar pop of "Gone" into a contemplative, gentle reverie with layered harmonies and a string section. "Slam" gets a makeover, too. The original was pretty overwrought, a too-obvious take on Saliva's secular world X-Games hit "Click Click Boom." But on Renovating->Diverse City it's not nearly as eager, drifting closer to Linkin Park with its plaintive piano loops and letting the raps in the middle breathe a little. Like Re: Mix Momentum, Renovating->Diverse City is almost exclusively for the Tobymac faithful. Despite the remixing and abbreviated track list, it's too close to the original to stand on its own. But for the devoted it's a reinforcement of that album's messages, and does offer a fresh look at a few of the songs.