Don’t Stop Caring
Independent / Symphonic Distribution (release date: April 29, 2022)
By Robert M. Marovich
Don’t Stop Caring is Bishop Lawrence Hancock once again baring his soul and sharing the raw truth from the pulpit of experience.
The Stellar-nominated Christian hip hop artist’s eighth album builds on his distinctive style of delivery: an atmospheric kaleidoscope of computer-generated electronica and rhythm supporting stream of consciousness lyricism. As such, Hancock is like a sacred version of a beat poet.
As on 2020’s Who I Am and last year’s Need of You, Hancock prays out loud in a pleading, multi-tracked voice that echoes off the studio walls. He evokes Peter Gabriel, if the former member of Genesis was wrestling with an existential challenge during the group’s The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway era. Emerging as if from a disorienting haze, Hancock’s lyrics/prayers seek semblance out of life’s disorder.
The subject of Hancock’s exhortations vary by track but his breathless fervor remains high. On the title track, Hancock makes clear that his prayer is for spiritual prosperity, not material prosperity. “Forgiven” is an exhortation of joy. “Reveal It” seeks answers from the Most High. “Be There” is a hypnotic call for Jesus in his life. The rhythmic tension of “The Bell Rings” underscores the urgency of being ready for the last day. “At Last” is Hancock, ready for the last day, ultimately making it to the Promised Land, walking around Heaven all day.
The album’s best track is the plaintive “Console My Heart,” which comes as close to a through-composed song as anything on the album.
Like his other albums, Hancock’s Don’t Stop Caring is quite novel in approach and arrangement, best listened to with a pair of headphones on and the lights out.
Four of Five Stars
Picks: “Console My Heart,” The Bell Rings”