No Distractions

In recent years, the Southern gospel music community has lost some of its best-loved talents, among them Rex Nelon, Glen Payne, and J.D. Sumner.

In recent years, the Southern gospel music community has lost some of its best-loved talents, among them Rex Nelon, Glen Payne, and J.D. Sumner. For anyone concerned about the future of this genre with many of its pioneers passing on, those worries will be bid farewell after one listen to this promising debut. Though Crossway members Casey Cappleman, Marty Hurt, Paul Smith, and Chris Weaver are in their early 20s, they make music that is simultaneously fresh and frisky yet heavily laden with the traditional sounds so loved by the Southern gospel contingent. The vocals are energetic and marked by celestial harmonies. The songs are straightforward statements of faith delivered in joyful tones. Among the highlights are the beautiful ballad "He Is There," "Live Right, Die Right," and "I Won't Look at the Lions," a rousing reminder to focus on God's promises. This is a fine debut from a group with a bright future in a community that needs new faces who know how to honor tradition while embracing the future.—DEP