Young Men 4 Christ
Independent (release date: September 11, 2020)
By Bob Marovich
Formed in 2012, Young Men 4 Christ is a contemporary male quartet from Detroit that offers the churchy turns and pulpit-honed declarations for which their hometown is famous.
On the six-track EP Elevation, the nine-man group (five singers and four musicians) shifts between traditional and modern gospel quartet styles.
For example, “He’s Able” and an extended version of the group’s single “Testimony” are buoyant aisle-walkers, and “Everything to God in Prayer” is a faithful reading of “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” with a newly-composed vamp tagged onto the end. “Trying to See Jesus” is a passionately-rendered selection about witnessing Christ after it’s all over. “Face to Face,” on the other hand, carries the same message as “Trying to See Jesus” but is a more modern arrangement. So is the ballad “I Made It,” which is dedicated to the late Jerome Williams of the Evereadys, another quartet with deep roots in Detroit.
The earnest singers employ contemporary harmonies that emphasize tenor and baritone while staying true to standard quartet lyricism on the topics of encouragement, deliverance, gratitude, and the holy rewards awaiting the faithful. The group contains capable lead singers and skilled musicians. The piano and organ touches are particularly effective, and longtime JGM readers already know what I think about synth fills in quartet music.
Elevation is the group’s third offering. They independently released their debut Why Not Jesus in 2013 and followed up in 2018 with Fulfilled (Feel the Music from Within). One track on the 2018 release, “I Wanna Thank Jesus,” featured the incendiary singer Lisa Knowles-Smith.
Young Men 4 Christ is in the company of other talented and ambitious young male gospel quartets such as the Exciting Holy Sons and God’s Posse.
Four of Five Stars