One Man In The Middle brings you regular, unbiased and honest reviews of music albums and EPs from Christian artists and musicians here in the UK and worldwide. Here we have Hymns And Devotionals Unplugged by Nate Bean & 4given with an overall review score of 7.3 out of 10.
Front man Nate Bean has dedicated many years to songwriting, arranging and providing vocals for countless projects and artists in Gospel, Country, Pop and Christian music including Carrie Underwood, Pharrell, Trace Adkins, and Little Big Town. With his huge voice and even bigger personality, Nate Bean and his powerful group of singers are stepping into the national spotlight with a long awaited freshman release.
The album reflects and supports the vow that Nate made to God years ago. “It is my mission to be effective and allow people to feel God and His love through our music,” says Nate. “This project is my personal version of our generation’s hymn book – the old meets the new and new meets the old. This project is for everyone and I’m glad the world gets to hear it.”
Nate Bean and his super-group 4Given have been around for over 12 years and yet this is their first full-length album together! Having said that many of the people featured on this release, along with Nate himself have been featured on many recording projects across the years.
If you like a bit of church Gospel music then this should hit the mark for the with some brilliant musical moments as they breathe new life into some very familiar hymns. Of course these aren’t done in a traditional style but with plenty of Gospel additions as well as rearrangements from Nate, with some very catchy intros to some tracks.
Vocally, this album soars. For me it was a little too overpowering, but even I could see the complexity of the arrangements with some stunning sopranos being back with the three other sections of vocal harmony whilst they were allowed to exercise their vocal chords to the maximum that they are able to. There are many tracks like “It Is Well” and “What A Friend (We Have In Jesus)” that would be very familiar to many – and it’s perfectly possible to sing along with these. However there are some songs that are new to me such as the brilliant “Souljah”, which uses the imagery of being in the army of the Lord. This is a track where Nate takes the lead vocal backed brilliantly by 4Given throwing their all into the background.
There are some great lead vocals from some guest vocalists throughout this album and the variety of styles and instruments show off the versatility of Nate’s arrangements. If you are looking to be taken to Church then this is a good example of vibrant worship in the Gospel tradition.
For track listing & snippets, ranking breakdown and more, check out onemaninthemiddle.com