Prime Cuts: Purpose, We Will Sing, Pioneer
The music of 4 Proches has a sepia-toned charm to it. Though their lyrics are often cutting-edge and cliché defying, there's an old fashioned quaintness to this quartet's music that is extremely endearing. Listening to this EP is like walking into an old fashioned antique shop where you are greeted with a comforting sense of southern nostalgia. Yet, when you dwell long enough, you'll find that these songs have cutting-edge messages and contemporary applicability to them. They address some of the most exigent issues (such as suffering, the authenticity of Christian living, and life's meaning) today that they sound as fresh as tomorrow's news. Yet, most remarkable is that the 4 Proches comprises of siblings with ages ranging from only 24 to 12. To think that these youngsters could offer such wisdom is itself a reason for us to run to purchase this CD.
"Run to You," a 4 song EP, comes almost 2 years after the release their full-length Christian album "Wayfaring Stranger." While like preceding record comprises of an even mix of covers and originals, "Run to You" comprises entirely of newly crafted tunes. Sonically, they have not deviated from their bluegrass Gospel template. Yet, unlike other bluegrass acts where the bulk of the attention is placed on the dexterity of the music's backings, 4 Proches have placed more emphasis on the use of their layered harmonies to bring out a spiritual yearning, giving their bluegrass more depth and dimension.
EP opener "Pioneer" is served with some gentle hand-picking banjo as the siblings pile their vocals together into a united voice that boldly affirms that they are willing to go make a difference in the world for the sake of Christ. With such a Biblically-informed audacity, this song ought to be the anthem of all Christians today. "Purpose" is a stripped down folky John Denver-esque affair backed only by the gentle strums of the nylons of an acoustic guitar before the siblings break out into a celebration of how God created us with purpose.
"We Will Sing" and "Run to You" find the quartet return to the worship terrain. The former "We Will Sing" is a slow and pensive ballad devotional piece that trumps on the song's lyrical finery of how God cares for us. "Run to You" is most upbeat tune on the set with music where the siblings jovially sing about the accessibility of God in the face of sufferings. On the whole, this EP is refreshingly different. On one hand, the music sounds old-fashioned where the songs can sound reverently fogyish and antiquated. Yet, the immediacy of their voices and the exigency of their lyrics within the mastery of traditional instruments suggest that there is still lots of value for their record in the 21st century, a radical thought as bluegrass is not really that old.