AN NRT WAYBACK EDITORIAL
4Him's Self-Titled Debut Turns 30
NRT's J.J. Francesco looks back at the debut album from one of Christian music's powerhouse veterans
 


AN NRT WAYBACK EDITORIAL, 4Him's Self-Titled Debut Turns 30
Posted: September 03, 2020 | By: JJFrancesco_NRT
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4Him was a contemporary Christian music staple in the 1990s. The accessible harmonies were produced by their four members, including Mark Harris and Andy Chrisman. The band had numerous chart-topping singles throughout their storied career. And, it all began with their eponymous 1990 self-titled debut.

As this album turns 30 years old this year, we take a look back at the album that kickstarted one of the most legendary acts of Christian contemporary music.

The History

Many fans may not know that all four members of 4Him started out performing together in the band, Truth. Truth was a mega-band with, on average, 15 members.

4Him caught the attention of Benson Records in the late 1980s. The newly formed group signed with Benson to started what would become a long and fruitful musical journey. 

 
 
The First Hit

Before the members even officially exited their previous band, 4Him already had a single at number one on Christian AC charts. It would stay atop the chart for eight weeks. This debut single, "Where There Is Faith," is much more likely to be familiar to casual listeners than any other song in the collection.

Boasting Andy Chrisman's powerful tenor vocals, "Where There Is Faith" is a Christian music anthem that proclaims the power of our faith when it's placed in Jesus. The song's chorus is among the more legendary of its day in Christian music and remained one of the band's staple hits throughout their entire run. One could argue all of the band's subsequent hits owe their success to this song.

 

Other Highlights

Those who know 4Him for their latter chart-toppers like "For Future Generations" or "Measure of a Man" may be a bit surprised at the 1980's contemporary feel to many of the album's cuts. Closing ballad "When I Am Gone" speaks of the legacy we leave as Christians. The song carries a definite sound of early Christian music with old fashioned cinematic violins and 1980's keyboards. "Couldn't We Stand" found its way onto some of the band's greatest hits compilations. It's an excellent example of the blend of Christian contemporary pop that was popular in the late '80s. "Do Right" gives the album some energy. Its production is an instant nostalgia bomb. 

Other than "Where There Is Faith," a lot of these songs didn't notch the top tier of the band's classic catalogue. Most songs that the band would be known for were released a few albums later. The sonic makeup on 4Him's debut album is definitely a product of its day. But, it may not be a fit for today's music. Without a doubt, 4Him's legacy in contemporary Christian music is worth exploring. And, this album would be a great start.

 

Check out 4Him on Apple Music and Spotify.

J.J. Francesco is a long-time contributor to the NRT staff. He's published the novel, 'Because of Austin'. And, he regularly seeks new ways to engage faith, life, and community.

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