For those who read my review on Atiba Halisi’s music video, this album was eagerly anticipated. I, myself, have been following Atiba Halisi, formally known as Philly Phien, for some time now and have witnessed the shift that he has taken as an artist with his music. Atiba’s music is one that is raw, real and gritty in both sound and lyrics. If you’re looking for music that gives you ‘milk’ as substance then this is not the album for you. War is Coming is an album that forces you to face the reality surrounding us and understand that for those in the faith, there is a war at hand. The question is whether you will face it with the full armor or remain ignorant and fall. In the concept of War, there are different types that are faced; whether spiritually, physically, emotionally or psychologically and it would appear that the tracks on this album deal with these various wars.
On this project, Atiba talks about injecting his music with truth and bringing the light to this world before the Son comes back. The understanding is that time is of the essence, we live in a dying world where we as Christians carry the antidote. Instead of clutching onto it so tightly, it’s imperative to share it with those around us who are hurting and in pain. This album demands a self-evaluation of where we stand in this world, the war of light and dark, both internally and externally.
Out of the eight tracks on this project, I was drawn to the latter half of it. From the track War is Coming to Lambs & Lions, each track was just a hit to me. Each track just relayed a different message that spoke out:
Track 4: War is Coming
I basically broke this song in-depth in the review of the music video (War is Coming). The song is a ‘rise up and pick up your mat’ kind of song. A song that requires a response as to what you as the listener will do when the time comes to stand up and fight. This song is the epitome of this album.
Track 5: Used 2 Luv U (Jezebel)
I have to admit that this track initially drew me in with its smooth, R&B, Aaliyah flow. On a deeper level, Atiba talks about temptation aka Jezebel and the effects she will have on you if you’re not careful and get caught in her web. I really liked the voicemail clips entered of ‘Jezebel’ calling, trying to figure out why she’s being neglected and even the eerie message of her being manipulative, vindictive and confident in that her prey will come back because they always do. This just reflects that internal war of not going back to what you know you need to turn away from and battle the temptation when it arises.
Track 6: WorkOut
This song also had a smooth accompaniment to go along with it. What stood out the most to me is the fact that Atiba sang to this track, which is something I haven’t heard on any of his previous projects. It was a shock to be honest, that I listened to the track a couple of times before confirming it was him. I can admire how he tackled this song with a different approach. It’s one of encouragement and about discovering a greater love, while embracing the beauty of a relationship with the Great I Am. Atiba encourages those who are searching or feel like things aren’t going as they anticipated and gives them the simple solution: to let Him work things out and just lay back in His love.
Track 7: Resuscitation
Resuscitation appears to present a double meaning in referencing both the return of Atiba and the return of Christ. The song gives the theme of being brought back to life in Christ and going full force, how the fire has been ignited and won’t be put out. The beat on this song is a force the same as the song itself.
Track 8: Lamb & Lion
I loved how this project ended with this song. Atiba’s imagery in showing that we are on the side of Christ, who is both the lamb and the lion. The concept that when Christ first came, He laid down His life as a sacrificial lamb so that we may have an opportunity to fellowship with the Father and have everlasting life. Although He is the lamb, upon His return He will come back as a roaring lion and all those who are for Him will stand alongside Him. Aligned with this concept, I love the statement in reference to praying that people know the roar of the lion because if all they know is the lamb, they’ll never experience triumph. A powerful track to end this project.
I believe this album is essential for the times we are in, especially as believers we have to acknowledge there is a war coming that we must prepare for, but joyfully we don’t have to fight it alone and the victory is already won.
I must say that as anticipated as I was about this album, I didn’t know what to really expect. Atiba’s last album Detox was a project that I felt fell short. I expected a lot at the time since I had recently been exposed to an old project of his, Diary of a Solider, which is a classic that will always remain in my rotation. In truth, I was disappointed in Detox and it therefore set me up to listen to this album with no true expectation. I would define this album as the quintessential Atiba Halisi album, in that all facets of who he is, what he represents and his style were all made evident. I advise those who read this post to listen to the project and at the end of it all become acquainted with the Lamb & the Lion.
Get your copy of the album War is Coming album. Also be on the lookout for the Use 2 Luv U (Jezebel) music video that will be dropping any day now.