- reviewed by Russ Breimeier Copyright Christianity Today International
- 2002 1 Mar
Brother's Keeper began modestly enough as three friends (Phillip Enzor, Gabe Dunlap, and John Sanders) who attended the same high school together and belonged to the same church youth group. The three initially started as an a cappella group, inspired by the likes of 4Him and Boyz II Men. Shortly after college, they were picked up by Ardent Records and released a self-titled debut in 1999 that featured more of a boy-band pop sound. The trio's latest, Cover Me, is a sharp departure from their previous effort, embracing more of a guitar-driven pop-rock sound that recalls numerous other groups. You might say that Brother's Keeper is following in the footsteps of Go Fish, another Christian a cappella group that recently switched to a more conventional pop sound. I don't suppose many of you are familiar with the international acoustic pop group Taxiride either, so let me try to describe what Brother's Keeper has done with this sound here. Imagine the inspirational vocal pop of Christian acts such as NewSong, 4Him, and Phillips, Craig & Dean. Then recall some of the great vocally focused pop-rock acts from the '70s and '80s, such as Kansas and Boston, or more recently, the Christian band Nouveaux. Then top all that off with some occasional R&B-pop leanings reminiscent of dc Talk, and you have the hodgepodge that is Brother's Keeper — a group that somehow makes all-too-familiar pop sounds their own.
"Cover Me," a prayer to rely on God whenever we feel uncertain, is mid-tempo pop/rock at its catchiest with a chorus that will have you humming along in no time. It's a song you can easily picture FFH or NewSong performing, but somehow Brother's Keeper (and producer Kevin Paige) keep it from sounding too much like these other Christian pop acts. Similarly "Take Me to the Cross," a simple acoustic pop song that invites the listener to remember how Christ lived and then to follow in his footsteps, sounds like a Phillips, Craig & Dean song, only not quite as inspirational. "Out of This World" sounds like dc Talk (somewhere in between