Joint Album Review: “Ascending” by The Lefevre Quartet

Ascending is the latest recording by The Lefevre Quartet, Produced by Wayne HaunAscending is the group’s debut release with Daywind on their New Day Label. Anchored by the father and son Mike & Jordan Lefevre, the group has recently found stability on tenor and bass. Jeremy Peace has been with the group 3 years and Keith Plott a year and a half. I’ve asked my good friend Brandon Coomer of Coomer’s Cove to do a joint review with me, since we have both been eagerly awaiting the release of this project.

 

  1. I Have It All

Brian: This is a great song to kickoff the recording, the song has a really driving feel. Jordan is featured on the verses and right off the bat, the listener will hear the great blend these guys possess.

Brandon:   I agree about the placement of this as the opening song. This song grabs your attention from the start. It would also be a great song to open concerts with. I also enjoy the arrangement at the end of the song. They go into a chorus and some of the backing intruments fall out, letting the drums drive the track. I was expecting Keith to come in with some step out lines or repeats, but that didn’t happen. They finish the chorus, the key raises, Jeremy takes the lead on a final chorus, and then Keith gets the repeats I was expecting on the previous chorus. I got the bass lines I was wanting to hear, but not the typical way. I appreciated that.
  1. Revival

Brian: A great rockin, uptempo song featuring Jordan, this one became a favorite of mine. Not really a style of song that I would expect to hear from The Lefevres, but very well done. Another potential single.

Brandon:   Is it me or has “Revival” became a popular song title over the last several years?  Out of all the songs by that title, this one has become my favorite. I’m not surprised that this one is a favorite of Brian’s. This track has an almost Booth Brothers’ feel to it and I know he loves the Booth Brothers.

  1. A Rugged Old Cross

Brian: This is a great song and I wouldn’t be shocked if this is sent to radio. Jordan LeFevre is developing into one of the finest young lead singers in Southern Gospel. This could very well be a signature song for him.

Brandon:   Without question, this song is my favorite on the project. I love the lyric “A payment of love was given in blood on a rugged old cross.” This finishes an opening trifecta of songs featuring Jordan and he sounds awesome on each of them.

  1. I’ll See You At The House

Brian: Mike Lefevre has long been one of the fan favorites in Southern Gospel and always seems to have a knack for interpreting ballads and painting a great picture for the listener. This is a great Heaven song that fans will enjoy hearing Mike sing.

Brandon:   I can see this replacing “To Say Goodbye” in the group’s nightly set list, which Mike currently introduces with a story about his mother and her passing. As Brian mentions, Mike can paint a picture with a song, and he puts an extra emotional punch on this one.

   5. Sailing Away

Brian: One of, if not my absolute, favorite cuts; this one had me hitting the repeat button. It’s a great quartet song featuring Peace and some great harmonies on the chorus. Quartet lovers will dig this one.

Brandon:  From the kickoff to the end, this one has a modernized “Movin’ Up To Gloryland” feel to it.
  1. Sun’s Gonna Come Up

Brian: This is the first radio single, which features Jordan. Again, a departure stylistically from what the guys normally do and its fantastic.

Brandon:  Another great song featuring Jordan. This is a good choice for the radio single because it is very catchy and hangs with you after you hear it.

  1. Only Jesus

Brian: This one features Jeremy and it’s a great song lyricially and musically. The arrangement really lets Peace shows off his range on this one. You might hit repeat on this one as well.

Brandon:  Jeremy is my favorite tenor so naturally, I love this song.  For years, Jeremy’s features have been some of my favorite songs, and “Only Jesus” is right there with the best of them. There is a warmth to Jeremy’s vocal, especially in the opening verse, that fits this song beautifully.
  1. Silver and Gold

Brian: Bass singer Plott closes out the project with his lone feature and he does a great job on it. Keith is a great singer and a wonderful fit with the group. I really enjoyed this song.

Brandon:  Finally – a bass feature!  This is a fun song and Keith sound great. My only concern here is that the arrangement would fit in just as much on a solo project as on a quartet project.

Conclusion:

Brandon: In all honesty, I’m not the biggest fan of producer/arranger Wayne Haun’s work. I find his work to sound too similar to his past work, no matter which artist he is working with. I was concerned when it was announced that he was working on this project, but I will admit that all of my concerns were misplaced. Yes, there might be a nod to other songs or arrangements, but even those sound fresh on Ascending.  And I’m going to give him a lot of the credit for the development Jordan LeFevre shows. With Jordan being featured on four of the eight songs, Ascending was going to sink or swim on his performance.  Jordan has never sounded better and this is a showcase of Jordan’s voice.
Ascending is an extraordinary recording, I only wish there was more of it. With only eight songs, there is no filler here and I wouldn’t want to replace any of the songs. I do wish they had been able to add another feature for Keith that showcased his blend with the quartet.  Still, Ascending is by far the best recording the LeFevre Quartet has ever made. This recording is an early front runner for the best project of 2018.

 

Brian: Aside from the fact that there’s only 8 songs on this project, I love this album. Ascending is the best album released so far in 2018. The Lefevre Quartet have hit a home run on this project; the song selection, arrangements, and the performances themselves are excellent. As Brandon said, no filler here. This is a 5 Star recording.

Ascending showcases a group that truly is ascending into the top tier of quartets in Southern Gospel This is undoubtedly their finest album so far and a must have for any Southern Gospel fan. If this lineup can stay together like Triumphant & Tribute, Ascending is only the beginning of the great things you can expect from The Lefevre Quartet.

Be sure to pick up your copy of Ascending when it releases on April 27th. 

Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

Label: New Day Records

Producer; Wayne Haun

Release Date: April 27th

 

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One thought on “Joint Album Review: “Ascending” by The Lefevre Quartet

  1. Who’d have thought a quartet could pull off a Third Day song? That’s where they got this particular “Revival” song… Great cut. And great project all around! This review nails it. I couldn’t be more thrilled for these guys!

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