Prime Cuts: Take Me to the Cross, Tailor Made, Walk Me Through
Overall Grade: 4.5/5
The Perrys' latest 7-song EP is greeted with a bittersweet welcome. This is essentially their first StowTown release since the passing of bass singer Tracy Stuffle. As a result, some of the songs still have a plaintive brim as the team continues to wrestle with their loss. But thanks to multiple GMA Dove award winner and album's helmsman Wayne Haun, the songs are not stymied in despair. Rather, though the songs' variegated tempos enhanced by a myriad of styles, ranging from traditional southern gospel to country waltz to piano balladry and jazzy Gospel buzz, these songs exude the Gospel hope without caricaturing the pain of loss.
Safe to say, there is not a soporific moment on the record. Rather, than circumventing the songs to one particular template, each of them is adorned with its own style and personality. With lots of jumpy piano thumbing, the title cut "Keep Moving Along" is a personalized jazzy Gospel piece that spells out the team's resolve to keep hoping in our Lord after a turbulent year or so. The classic "It Never Gets Old" continues to give content to this resolve. Here the Perrys sing about the no-expiration Gospel via their gloriously stacked harmonies.
But the record's prime moments are in the ballads. Reminding one of those Vince Gill's 90s signature ballads, "Tailor Made" comes with the rustic sounds of fiddles, steel and piano. "Tailor Made" is a creative endeavour of transforming the doctrine of regeneration into a lovely country waltz. Wayne Haun, who has written some of the imprint's best ballads, offers another of his stellar co-compositions in the form of the cross-cantered "Take Me to the Cross." Considering what the Perrys have had just been through, "Walk Me Through" is most heartfelt as the team continues to pray for God to walk with us through life's tribulations. This song is indeed an excellent balm for an ailing heart.
The songs that discount this album from a 5/5 grade are "That's How You Know" and "Never a Time." The former is an obligatory uptempo romp without possessing much distinction. After "Walk Me Through," the similarly themed and tempo-ed "Never a Time" sounds relatively weak and a tad redundant. Nevertheless, this record is not only a means of ministry to the Perrys but these songs are a great healing prescription for those who have been tossed by life's tempests. Songs such as the aforementioned prime cuts are precious ailments for those who long to hear about our Savior's love with fresh vocabularies and tunes.