Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Album Review

I've been a Newsboys fan since the early-mid nineties, when I cut together a video for our church and the youth pastor wanted to use Shine in the background.  Since then, I've listened to everything.  And when you hear their late eighties stuff, you can be very thankful for the influence of Steve Taylor on producing.

I think the last album, In the Hands of God got overshadowed by the sudden departure of Peter Furler.  Hands was one of the better Newsboy's offerings in awhile.  I have three 5-star songs in my iTunes library as well as a couple 4-stars.  I can whole-heartily recommend buying the entire album at that point.  Which was no problem because Amazon offered it for $5 to jumpstart their mp3 service.  Plus, it featured two songs by Taylor, who hadn't produced for some time.

So a few days ago, I get a new email offer from Amazon. This time I can buy the new album with Michael Tait for $5.  Count me in.  Over the Labor Day weekend, I turned on the iPod and took a listen.  And you need to know I like Michael and it's never easy to step in like this to a band that has a very distinctive sound.

The lead singer probably has the most influence on a band's sound in my opinion.  Because of that, I couldn't decide if I was listening to new dcTalk stuff or some different band altogether.  There are some catchy tunes and I certainly love the familiar vocalizations of Tait.  There's not a single song written by Furler.  I thought maybe the founder might hang out in the background, but his creative touch is missing with the exception of Build Us Back). 

On Your Knees is a nice power ballad.  And I loved the cover of Mighty To Save.  But I'm sucker for rock renditions of any of these worship songs.   The cover of Jesus Freak sounds very similar to the original.  Would have loved to hear something more distinctive. Still, it's too soon.  Let's see if this band can find a new identity.  I'll certainly be listening.

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