I’m kicking off a new series with this post: the reverse crossover. It’s the same basic idea as Daniel’s “translation” series. Take a song that’s not in SG, and imagine how it could work if a southern gospel group gave it a go. Today’s candidate is “A Man You Would Write About.”
4Him has already had a cover or two in southern gospel. I recently mentioned “Basics of Life,” and their Christmas song “Strange Way to Save the World” has been done by a couple groups, including N’Harmony (great rendition, by the way—watch here). Fascinatingly enough, there was even one song they had thought about cutting, but Brian Free & Assurance got to it first (that would be the excellent “Man of Sorrows”). [Update: Brandon has pointed out that the song was actually done first by Joel Lindsey's group David's Heart. However, it had been under consideration for 4Him before they disbanded, at which point Brian picked it up.]
All of which is to say that SG fans might recognize the name “4Him” even though they are a CCM group. Their songs lend themselves to strong harmony singing, which is why they’ve worked so well in a gospel context.
However, I personally have not found all that many of their songs that are really solid all the way through from a lyrical perspective. Some of them have pieces that are great, but other parts that are just cheesy and fall flat.
But this song is a notable exception. It’s very simple, but the lyrics are great all the way. It also features some awesome singing from Andy Chrisman, who was always my favorite in the group (despite his brief flirtation with a horribly long and floppy haircut):
I’ve thought for a while that somebody in SG should do this one. My first thought was Brian Free & Assurance, since they’ve been compared to 4Him.
But recently, another possibility has come to mind, and that’s the young up-and-coming group Beyond the Ashes. They’ve already been noted for their “progressive” style, and they actually sound rather like 4Him—more so even than BFA, I would say. The blurb for their new album even jokingly called them “3Him.” They have a potent blend, exceptionally powerful for a trio. They are somewhat breathy—a bit of an acquired taste, and I think they could probably tone down the “soul” on some of their stuff, but I believe they could deliver this song with the punch it needs. Anthony Facello could take the lead and do a great job with it.
They have already covered a Point of Grace song with “Yes, I Believe.” If they can cover a girls’ group, 4Him shouldn’t be too much of a stretch.
But what do you think?