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Music Review: The Great Struggling by TAL

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Updated March 21, 2018
Music Review: The Great Struggling by TAL
TAL - Rooftops

Artist Details


Basic Details

Release Date
Price (RRP)
£4.95 (£2.95 iTunes - Link below)

Publisher Details

Track Listing

Heart Support

Honing his skills as a spoken word artist in Tampa, FL, TAL quickly discovered the impact of well crafted words. A careful study of spoken word artist Propaganda and musical influences like Macklemore & Ryan Lewis and twenty one pilots revealed a deep passion to blend words with music in a way that speaks to the current generation. 

TAL brings a message of encouragement to youth and young adults who often depend on music as a coping mechanism for navigating a world that fails to understand them. If one must put a label on TAL’s music, “alternative hip-hop” would be the closest description.

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Editor review

1 reviews

The Great Struggling
Overall rating 
Personal Rating 
From the opening shout of "Struggling!" this EP from spoken-word hip-hop artist TAL is a wild ride! TAL is looking to speak to a generation that is looking for meaning in a seemingly meaningless world. This is well emphasised in the first track entitled "Orange". Why "Orange"? Because this all about when life doesn't rhyme - when things are a struggle, and traditionally nothing rhymes with orange. In fact the reference to orange is where he just says it at the end of the track.

Accompanying this spoken word is a background of discordant rhythm and sound which works well to emphasise the words that are being said. In fact this marriage of spoken word and simple sounds works so well for TAL because his words are personal and incredibly well chosen. TAL has crafted these statements in a way which disguises the work that has gone into making this, communicating something personal to him and hitting a chord with the listener.

"Rooftops" is a very personal story about his childhood and his life struggles - looking at how these things have made him the person that he is. Not someone complaining about the hard times, but letting these "sorrows produce perseverance, and perseverance, character, and character a hope that won't disappoint." This is encouragement that no matter the struggles we go through we should embrace them as the greatest teacher that we will ever have. Amongst the lines that stand out is "It's safe to say that if struggling is in our blood then we are blood related." in other words we may go through different things, but all of us, from the most confident and gifted through to the least - we all struggle!

"Heart Support" continues the theme, but this time looking at the devastation that struggles can lead to in our lives. This starts off with the most melodic introduction on this EP, but equally this is the edgiest and most aggressive sounding vocal. This is the track to not play around your parents, not because it's Parental Advisory, but to avoid the comments about "that's a racket" or "that's not music - where's the tune?" The shouting is an extreme, but it nicely counterpoints the melody from the intro and emphasises the message brilliantly!

Skeletons is a track about the skeletons in the dark recesses of our mind - those things that we hide away. As a Christian those thoughts, habits and choices that should be dead, but we run to these aspects of our nature that rise up like skeletons and battle us. This is something that we can all relate too. Our thoughts and actions do not always compliment each other, and with this we know that we fail, but reading and speaking what God says about us can help defeat these skeletons. The final track is Campfire which is about taking the space and time to just relax, to get out of the stream of the daily barrage - like sitting around the campfire with a group of friends and sharing stories.

Overall this release is brilliant. I enjoyed the warmth and humour in this discussion of the struggles of life, "I'm NOT Amish!" There is a powerful feeling conveyed throughout that we are all different - we have unique things to face, but at the same time we share many things in our stories. This album has something to say to anyone, because of the style it won't be for everyone. If you are struggling with life and you want help to look at it a different way then get a couple of quid and download this from iTunes.

If you like rap / hip-hop / or cleverly constructed spoken word then you have to check out TAL, because this album is deep and just a little bit of godly genius!

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