Friday, May 15, 2009

True Believers
Break Through
Malaco Records 2008

Here’s another young quartet with an old soul.

Earlier in the decade, McComb, Mississippi’s True Believers recorded for the Blackberry label under the guidance of the Williams Brothers, then signed with Malaco, releasing their first project for the imprint in 2007. The group unveiled Break Through, its second Malaco project, in the winter of 2008.

While the first few songs on Break Through are fairly standard quartet fare, when the group charges into “Here Comes your Breakthrough” (track five), it’s as if someone pushed the Turbo button. From here to the end of the CD, True Believers packs punch after punch of muscular traditional gospel quartet singing with just enough contemporary flavor to broaden its appeal.

“Here Comes Your Breakthrough” is a supercharged, high-energy quartet performance and a song destined to become the group’s signature. Other “drive” songs on the CD include the kick-beat, hip-slapping “I Know (Somebody Touched Me)” and “When I Rise.” The quartet gets bluesy on a variation of a quartet favorite, “Get Right Church,” known here by the title “Jesus is Coming.”

Break Through closes with the classic hymn “At the Cross,” which features high harmonies a la the Violinaires. The lead singer embroiders the song with Sam Cooke-style yodels, which sound good but make even more sense as the group moves into Cooke’s Soul Stirrers outing, “Build a Fence Around Me.” It's an appropriate conclusion to a project that, like the Stirrers of Cooke's era, combines youthful energy with timeless male quartet harmony.

Four of Five Stars
Posted by Bob Marovich
The Black Gospel Blog

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