I think it would be safe to say that Paradox' CD, "Called to Mind," is not typical musical fare for Grapevine readers. This CD is neither gentle nor meditative, nor is it a rocking praise album. "Called to Mind" is a rap/hip-hop album with a positive message, sometimes with explicitly Christian/Catholic imagery. The artist known as Paradox doubles as a high school theology teacher, so his lyrics and music come from both real world experience and a professional knowledge of Catholic theology.

I must admit that I know nothing about the rap/hip-hop world and who are the "movers and shakers" in the industry. However reading other reviews of Paradox (which can be accessed from the Paradox website, ParadoxHipHop.com), it is apparent that Paradox has brought in some "heavyweights" for this album.

Probably most readers of Grapevine would not be interested in an entire rap album, but I would recommend that "Called to Mind" might be an opportunity to stretch one's musical tastes. Several of the tracks I found to be more "approachable," such as "Put 'em Together" (I find the hook to be quite catchy), and the sampling for "Let Your Life Speak" and "On Second Thought" to be really great. Lyrically, my favorite tracks are "Help Wanted," which is very playful with its rhyming and imagery (with a good message to boot), and "Ruined for Life," which is the most explicitly Christian track. Both could find a happy place in some high school/college retreats.

Please check out Paradox' "Called to Mind" on iTunes, CDbaby, or Amazon.

Reviewed by Fr. Kent O'Connor