In Today’s Southern Gospel marketplace, theres a lot of “hype” that is attached to many new artists. Some of them live up to the hype, some do not. One such group that was receiving a lot of “hype” last year was The Old Paths, who’s 2012 release “Right Now“, generated a lot of buzz. 3 songs from this album, “Battle Stand”, He’s My Song”, and “God’s Great”, all reached the number one spot on the radio charts. When I purchased the album, I was thoroughly impressed by what I heard. Then I wondered how the group would follow up such a fantastic project. The best way to put it is this, “Right Now” was a home run, but “These Truths” is a grand slam!
Where “Right Now” had more of a country flavor or sound, “These Truths” offers a little bit of something for everyone musically, yet still maintains the powerful song selection and top notch vocal performances the group displayed previously.
The recording starts out with a Heaven Bound classic, “We Are Those Children“. The group has shown an admiration for Jeff Gibson’s classics (they also recorded “I Know My God Can Do It” on Right Now). A story was once told that a young preacher remarked to Dr. Adrian Rogers that he preached a lot of Dr. Rogers sermons to his church. Dr. Rogers told the young pastor, “Son, if my bullets fit in your chamber, fire away!” There is no doubt that the old Heaven Bound material fits The Old Paths like a glove. Tim Rackley sounds great on the lead, and tenor Jeremy Peace kicks the song up a notch on the key change.
Next up is a slower number, “Isn’t That Why He Came“, that features Jeremy Peace. Peace tends to shine on the slower paced numbers (I Of The Storm, He’s My Song have all been successful radio songs for the group), and These Truths is no exception. The song is quite powerful, painting a wonderful picture for the listener of the true reason why Jesus Christ became a man. The vocals on this song are nothing short of spectacular, providing the perfect touch in all the right spots. “Enough And Then Some” is the first number on the recording to feature bass vocalist Daniel Ashmore. Ashmore, one of the most exciting young bass singers in the industry, does a fine job on the verses.
One of the finest performances on the project is the title cut, “We Hold These Truths“, featuring baritone Douglas Roark. A great song that marries the patriotic and spiritual imagery, Roark turns in a great vocal performance. The fifth song on the project is “Love Them To Jesus“, which was written by Rodney Birch (writer of 2 of the group’s #1 radio singles Battle Stand & God’s Great). Rackley has the lead on this very strong lyric which states a message the church of today needs to hear. I anticipate this being a strong single the group can release to radio.
“If It Were Not For Grace” starts out the second half of the project and also features Douglas Roark. Both of Roark’s features on this project are strong songs that I can envision being played on Gospel radio. “I’m Just Passing Through” is a bouncy up tempo song, featuring Rackley on the verses, and some great harmony on the chorus. TIm Rackley is one tremendous lead singer, who can sing any style of song, but knows how to sing. “God Said I Love You” is another powerful ballad featuring Jeremy Peace, that has great lyrics that describe the love that was displayed when Jesus Christ died on the cross. Also noteable for this song, Peace also hits an insanely high tenor note on a key change that is a must hear.
Next up is a cover of “God’s Gonna Do The Same“, made popular by The Hinsons. What’s unique about The Old Paths arrangement of this song is that the feature goes to the bass vocalist Ashmore on the verses. Ashmore is a very good bass singer, but he’s also a very capable soloist. Rackley takes over the lead on the choruses and the group sounds fantastic on the choruses. Closing out “These Truths” is one of my favorite songs on the project, “Long Live The King“. A majestic ballad, co-written by Chris Binion and the legendary Dianne Wilkinson, Tim Rackley turns in one of the most powerful vocal performances I’ve ever heard from him. It’s a perfect song to close the cd, and definitely a song fans should be hearing on Gospel radio in the near future.
Overall, “These Truths” does not disappoint those who first came to know The Old Paths by way of “Right Now“. In an age of overhyped groups, and “the next big thing’s” who never seem to work out, The Old Paths are here to stay & seemed poised to join the ranks of the industry’s elite quartets. They have delivered an album that is one of the top releases of 2013, and just as good, perhaps even better than its predecessor. There is no doubt in my mind that The Old Paths belong in the same discussion as the Kingdom Heirs, Triumphant, Mark Trammell Quartet, and the other top tier quartets in our industry. As a fan, I’m eagerly awaiting to see what’s next for this fantastic group of guys. So pick up a copy of “These Truths” today, and if you don’t have it already get “Right Now” as well.
Review copy not provided.