Music review by Luchae Williams
If you grew up serving the Lord in the 90s you might be familiar with this week’s focus, Christian pop rock band, Newsboys. This 4-time Grammy award nominated ensemble was founded in 1985 in Queensland, Australia by George Perdikis and then band lead singer, Peter Furler. Interestingly enough, the band moved to the US in 1987, after getting signed by Refuge Communications, but it was only in 1992, and three albums later, that they would finally receive attention on the major CCM front. Releasing the well received, Not Ashamed, the quartet partnered with well known singer/songwriter, Steve Taylor, who later produced and wrote on most of their songs.
Their 5th album, Going public, is where they received real success, with the album garnering them the coveted Dove Award for Rock Album of the Year in 1995. Now led by DC Talk’s Michael Tait, the group has recently released a 12-track compilation album comprising their biggest hit radio singles spanning 1992 to 2011. The album, titled God’s Not Dead – The greatest hits of the Newsboys features the band’s top worship songs (sung by both Furler and Tait) and some of their RIAA Certified Platinum selling singles, such as God’s not dead (like a lion) and Born again.
The aptly placed God’s not dead is the opening track on the album. The song was originally released when the God’s Not Dead film was on circuit and even though I don’t remember the song from the film, I was hooked the minute I picked it up on this album. The chorus of the song is totally addictive and it affirms the truth about the ferocious love of God, in your heart.
I was a bit disappointed to hear so many cover songs on the album. I must admit, I expected to hear more of their original stuff, and looked forward to the tongue in cheek way the rock group says things. Instead I found church classics such as Mighty to save, Your love never fails and worship song, Revelation song, made popular by Kari Jobe.
Fans will appreciate the addition of the 2012 Dove nominated ‘Rock Song of the Year’- the midtempo contemporary rock infused Born again. I love the declaration in the song, that speaks about being unashamed for Christ. “This is what it is/This is who I am/This is where I finally take my stand!”
I enjoyed a single from their 2006 album, Go, titled Wherever we go. Written and performed in classic Newsboys style, the song holds a cheeky message about us being atmosphere changers, with lyrics that say: “Hands up, holler back now/We don’t claim any know-how/We’re giving God all that/Wherever we go/thats where the partys at!” So fun!
With more than two decades of music and nearly 39 No 1 Christian radio hits, it’s evident that the Newsboys have carved out the road for newer rock ensembles. If you’re a devoted Newsboys fan, you’ll probably enjoy reminiscing as you take a walk down musical memory lane with this one.