Prime Cuts: In the Long Run, Broken People like Me, At the Name of Jesus
Overall Score: 5/5
There's a touch of irony when it comes to the Old Paths' latest release "Long Run." Despite its titular, it's the shortest collection the quartet has had ever released. With only six songs, the EP clocks in at less than half an hour. Moreover, two of the entries are barely over the two and a half minute mark. What they lack in terms of quantity, they made it up in quality. Safe to say: there are no filler songs on this set. You won't hear a subpar song devoid of a strong melodic line or lyrics with theological iffy content. Rather, all of the 6 songs here are of the A+ calibre. Not only that but each of the songs bears its own identity. Stylistically, they are canvass the whole musical gamut from the big soaring ballads ("At the Name of Jesus") to fiddle-infested country romp ("Peace is on the Way") to old-fashioned quartet sounds ("My Everyday Life").
The keening fiddling of the opening lines of the Dianne Wilkinson and Rebecca Peck-penned "Peace is on the Way" ushers us into the record with a spirited country glow. A song brimming with hope; this is the type of songs you would want to function as your soundtrack in days when the blues are overbearing. Then you have the biographical title track "In the Long Run." Borrowing from the working notes of George Strait and Alan Jackson, this gorgeous country mid-tempo chronicles the grace of God in the journey of the Old Paths over the last decade and more. Speaking of God's grace, the Kenna West and Lee Black composed "Broken Hearted People like Me" is one that will add a refreshing veneer of appreciation for God's gracious salvation.
"Tangled in the Middle," the quartet's current single, merges a contemporary Cajun-esque drive with the traditional full-bodied Southern Gospel sound. Then be prepared to be blowed away by "At the Name of Jesus." Written by Rebecca and Logan Peck this is a grandiose, powerhouse, string-laden ballad that builds and builds until it reaches its explosive climax of heavenly worship. The only song that doesn't quite enthuse is the EP's closer "My Everyday Life." Yes, we need more songs that speak of the second coming of Jesus, but the melody just doesn't excite especially after the earth-shattering "At the Name of Jesus."
Despite the brevity of the record, this is a stellar record. No padding, just solid stuff. Enough said.