It began with 4 young men…
Andy Chrisman, Mark Harris, Marty Magehee, and Kirk Sullivan originally met when they sang together in Truth, a Contemporary Christian vocal group. Truth had a rotating roster of four male and four female vocalists, many who went on to form singing groups of their own or record solo albums, such as Alicia Williamson-Garcia, NewSong, Russ Lee, Avalon, Steve Green and Jason Breland. After a representative from Benson Records attended several Truth concerts in which Andy, Mark, Marty, and Kirk performed, Benson approached the quartet saying that they wanted to use the guys to create a new male 4-member vocal group under the Benson label. “Where There Is Faith”, their first single, stayed at #1 on the charts for eight weeks, two months before 4Him left Truth. Releasing their self-titled debut in 1990, they blended the traditions of Christian music’s past, with modern pop production and practical lyrics.
In 1996, with the release of The Message, 4Him changed their overall sound in an effort to keep pushing the creative limits of the group. The guys replaced the over-the-top orchestrations and choral vocal arrangements with a stripped down, acoustic band approach where one of the guys would sing lead and the other three would sing backing vocals. On 1998’s Obvious, each member took more ownership of their music – becoming more involved in the production and songwriting aspects.
By 2004, all four reevaluated the future of the ministry of 4Him. After close to fifteen years of ministry, the members of 4Him decided to embark on solo careers. In 2006, 4Him performed their final concert at Cottage Hill Baptist Church in Mobile, AL, the city where 4Him’s 16 year journey first started. At that concert, various individuals (including family members, record producers, management, and Truth founder Roger Breland) were recognized for their contributions to 4Him’s ministry.
The final tally? After 11 studio albums and 24 number one singles, 4Him has a Grammy nomination, seven Dove awards and an album certified gold to their credit.
Andy Chrisman goes “One.”
Andy Chrisman released his freshman solo effort “One” in 2004. Different? Yes. Filled with passion? Definately.
‘One’ – Way Out of the Box: His 5-Star Rated album revue by About.com:
With 17 years in the music business under his belt and a long career with 4Him, Andy Chrisman’s decision to test the solo waters raises a good deal of curiosity. And let’s just get this out of the way: he has definitely broken free of whatever constraints he operates under in his ministry with 4Him. He’s gone way out of the box with his solos debut One. Lots of unexpected dance programming and loops show up on this progressive pop album. Chrisman’s signature tenor vocals are still in place and his personal touch shines through some of the writing, although he is joined by some heavyweights: Scott Krippayne, Cindy Morgan, Matthew West and Jason Ingram. Not a bad supporting crowd to have on your freshman offering, right?
Powerful Truths Ride With Smooth Worship Choruses
Starting off strong with the bold statement of faith that is “Believe,” electric guitars announcing the change in approach, the album moves through some pop tunes (don’t miss the soaring vocals of “Atmosphere”) before entering into a deeper worshipful groove. The title track stands out as does closer “Love Remains,” a tenderly arranged ballad of piano and strings. My favorite was “King Above All” for its powerful truths riding over smooth choruses of worship. It’s got to feel good to break out of the box like this. If you like pop, you don’t want to miss this one. – Kevan Breitinger
You can find out more about Andy’s music, as well as the music of 4Him by visiting his Music Page.
Album revue © 2004 About.com | Used with permission