3:1 CD Review: But For the Cross (LeFevre Quartet)

But For The Cross (LeFevre Quartet)3:1 Reviews offer three highlights of an album and one area that could have been improved.

1: But For the Cross: This 6/8 song is bursting with power and energy. It’s one of those rare songs that combines the better elements of an anthem and an uptempo toe-tapper. Though “I’m So Saved” (see below) was the album’s lead-off single, this is likely the album’s big hit.

2: Come and See: Speaking of hits, this song’s writer, Rodney Birch is on a winning streak. He earned his first #1 recently, with Old Paths’ “Battle Stand” on the December 2012 charting song. Though an entirely different sort of song—this one’s a tenderly touching story-song—it’s  another hit waiting to happen.

3: I’m So Saved: Mere weeks after the album released, Paul Harkey left to join Ernie Haase & Signature Sound. This song shows the potential he could have had with the group if he’d stayed. The song requires a bass comfortable with incredibly low notes; here’s hoping the LeFevre Quartet can find replacement who can pull off this challenging arrangement with aplomb.

:1: More strong songs: If the Mike LeFevre Quartet had been able to pack an album full of songs as strong as their opening three, the album would easily have been a 4.5-star album, perhaps even a five-star album. Now granted, if you’re not the Booth Brothers, you may have a hard time finding songs as incredible as the Booth Brothers find in their inboxes. The song selection for this album is actually pretty strong for a group that’s up-and-coming. If they can kick it up a gear in the future, they aren’t far from being able to pull off a top-tier quartet album.

Traditional or Progressive: Middle-of-the-road, with progressive moments.

Group members: Harold Reed (tenor), Jordan LeFevre (lead), Mike LeFevre (baritone), Paul Harkey (bass).

Credits: Producers: Paul Corley, Tre’ Corley, Rick Sandige. Recorded at: Oak Tree Studio. Arranged, Mixed, and Mastered by Tre’ Corley. Engineered by Paul Corley. Musicians: Tre’ Corley (Drums, Orchestration, Programming, Synths, Keyboards), Jonny Brown (Piano, Keyboards, Organ), Duncan Mullins (Bass), Kelly Back (Electric Guitar), Joel Key (Acoustic Guitar, Banjo). Released by: Activate Records.

Song List: But For the Cross (written by Marty Funderburk and Caleb Collins); Come and See (written by Rodney Birch); I’m So Saved (written by Dianne Wilkinson); The Wedding Song (written by Glen A. Bates); Put it Right There (written by Gerald Crabb); We Are The Church (written by Gerald Crabb); Saved By the Blood (written by Brandon Barry and Douglas Roark); The Blessed Hope (written by Rebecca Peck); Someday Soon (written by Glen Bates); I’ll Let You Lead Me (written by Marty Funderburk and Daryl Williams); Standing on the Daily Promises (written by Daryl Williams).

Five-star songs: But For the Blood, Come and See, I’m So Saved.


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16 Letters to the Editor

Southern Gospel Journal welcomes letters to the editor. We will post the most thoughtful and insightful submissions. Ground rules: Don't attack or belittle groups or fellow posters, or advance heresies rejected by orthodox Christianity. Do keep comments positive, constructive, and on topic.
  1. daniel, exactly what song is but for the blood?….

    • Fixed, and thanks! I think I was thinking of the Hoppers song “But For the Blood.”

  2. Been a big fan of this group for years. Haven’t listened to this one yet. Can’t wait to get it.

  3. I’ve been hoping you would review this CD, Daniel. I’m going to post my review as soon as I can find a little bit of time. Seems that I enjoyed it more than you did though. I didn’t care for “Come and See” that much, but I loved the other two that you reviewed. I disagree with your comment about the CD not having a strong song selection. What did you think of songs like “Put It Right There” and “The Wedding Song”?

    • Both were fine, just not as strong as the opening three.

      • Swap out “Come and See” with “Put It Right There” in your top three, and that’s how mine stands. Good review!

      • Neat, and thanks!

  4. Is there really a dog on the cd cover? Lol…why???

    • I’m assuming he must be a group member’s dog; I don’t see any connection between the dog and any of the songs’ messages!

      • I like the dog on the cover. Gives it some character!

      • Doesn’t need to be a connection, ever heard the term ” for the fun of it”?…that comment trips me out, does everything need to always “connect” for you?…have a lil fun Daniel, I promise it won’t hurt

      • Oh, I’m sure it doesn’t hurt. 🙂

  5. Ill answer the dog question…he lived at the house we took that picture at and jus laid down during the shoot…we liked the pic and thought it was different so we left him in the shot…no deep spiritual or theological meaning sorry jus a cool dog

  6. This is a little off the topic about this album, but I just came across a video of Tim Duncan filling in for the Lefavre Quartet posted earlier today. Take a look here…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aRnB9XdjpAg

  7. This release, from the songs I’ve heard, is mixed like a quartet CD is supposted to be: with a strong, audible bass part.
    Many other mixes I’ve heard have the problem of mixing the bass vocalist in too quietly. Not just budget projects, but major label releases.
    Now, on the other hand, I’ve heard recordings where it sounds like the quartet is backing up the bass singer. Some J.D Sumner & The Stamps recordings come to mind.
    Then there’s the tonallity. Not thin, frail, or anemic. (Again, like many major label releases.) But full, natural vocals. Which, of course, helps the recorded bass vocal sound good.
    Overall, with this LeFevre Quartet record, the balance of the upper 3 parts, compared to the bass part, is good.
    And honestly, I don’t own the project. I’m just going by what I’ve heard elsewhere. No, it’s not the thick analog sound of the 80’s that you’d hear on many releases back then. But, what I’ve heard has caught my ear in a plesant way.