Photographer: Lee Steffen .
The sixth studio long player from the veteran CCM hitmaker and former DC Talk member, This Is Not a Test finds tobyMac offering up another upbeat, earnest, and spiritually charged set of radio-ready hip-hop and EDM-influenced pop confections, and collaborating with a bevy of eclectic CCM artists like Capital Kings, Ryan Stevenson, Hollyn, and ex-DC Talk bandmates Kevin Max and Michael Tait. Adopting the same sonically varied and collaborative vibe as 2014's Eye'm All Mixed Up: Remixes, the 11-track set is as economical as it is hook-filled, with most cuts coming in well under the four-minute mark (the savvy and soulful title track barely makes it over two). The majority of the set is relegated to guest spots, with "Backseat Driver," feat. Hollyn and Toby's son Truett, and the dc Talk reunion jam "Love Feels Like" leading the charge. The electro-acoustic earworm of single "Beyond Me" and the devotional albeit secular-minded "Like a Match" stand out among the purely TobyMac-driven offerings. Five decades into his career, Toby McKeehan still sounds energized and youthful, and his breezy delivery and knack for crafting intact. ~ James Christopher Monger