Prime Cuts: The Answer, It's Amazing Grace, Hero
Overall Grade: 4/5
Inspired by Romans 15:5-6, brothers, Chad and Tyler Sowards, as well as Joey Atansio, want to be united in declaring God's anthem via their music. They have more than pass muster with "Through People Like Me." Featuring 10 original songs, these songs declare God's encompassing truth over variegated issues such as our self-worth ("Through People Like Me"), salvation ("Hero"), and sufferings ("Beauty in the Tragedy"). With stacked harmonies that recall those glorious Gospel quartets of yore and quipped with latest EDM beats and swirls, there are hues of vintage in their brand of Christian pop. Produced by Mass Anthem, Zach Kranz (Citizen Way), with individual contributions from producers Jordan Sapp (NF, Blanca, Tauren Wells), and Micah Kuiper (Matty Mullins, OBB, NewSong), the sound is nothing but top notched.
Those of us who have grown up in church will find affinity with "The Answer." The song deals with that turning point when we have to abandon our parents' faith and seek the Lord for "answers" ourselves. In order to understand how critical such moments are, "The Answer" is mandatory listening. "Hero," not the Mariah Carey song of the same titular but a Mass Anthem original, is a cry towards God to be our hero. Giving the electronic beats a recess, the song starts off slow and heartfelt before it explodes into a rapturous chorus.
The title cut "Through People Like Us" has the word "hit" tattooed all across it. Propulsive, thoughtful, and ultra-catchy, this could be their gateway into Christian radio land. Not all is hip and modern. Hints of the traditional get interwoven into "It's Amazing Grace." By itself, the song buzzes with a busy but an infectious melodic line. However, linger long enough and you will hear how the boys gorgeously segues into the John Newton hymn "Amazing Grace." The way the two songs are tied together is just precious. More grace moments abound with "Beauty in the Tragedy" --- a gentle treatise of how God can rebuild our lives from the ruins.
Yet, not all excels. There are a few tracks - namely, "Keep Running," "The Real Me" and "Light Up the Darkness" - that come and go without making much of an impression. Nevertheless, energy, passion, and heartfelt emotions exude throughout what is a generally an impressive album. It's one that the younger demographic would not be ashamed of, yet it's matured enough for the older to savor.