Out the Box
Tonex's rip-roaring San Diego concert, recorded in 2003 for this live two-CD set, packs power and emotion as it takes listeners on a journey across a wide musical spectrum. He delivers funky gospel ("Work On Me"), as may be expected, but he also channels AC/DC-style guitar-rock and screeching heavy-metal vocals ("Alive 2"); Britney Spears-style pop on "Alive (Not Dead)"; and sampling that includes game-show ditties (the "Family Feud" theme on "Games"), sitcom theme songs ("Taxi"), and R&B greats (Al Green's "Love & Happiness" on "Personal Jesus"), and much more. The message behind this genre-bouncing journey? Tonex seems to be pointing out how God is relevant in all things, from pop culture to personal devotional moments. As musical entertainment, Out the Box is an all-out dance party; though there are some snippets of preaching, mostly it's full-speed-ahead, electrifying, gospel theatrics, with only a little down time for Tonex and crew to catch their breath. Tonex is backed by a 45-person choir dubbed The Peculiar People, and also joined by Sheila E., Kirk Franklin, Yolanda Adams, Morpheus and more. There's a reason why Tonex is one of the brightest lights in contemporary Gospel today, and the proof is here, straight Out the Box.