If Bono left U2 it’s fair to say that the band will fall in on itself like some black hole collapsing in on itself due to the massive void left, and if we are going to be fair that was the prospect that The Newsboys faced when founding member drummer and more recently the face and front man Peter Furler announced that he would be pulling out. So the question had to be asked, was this the end of The Newsboys?
Peter Furler had a huge stage presence and lungs to match… would this void to be too much to fill?
Well the fact that I’m writing a review about a new album that isn’t a ‘greatest hits’ package would suggest that they found someone. Long time Newsboys friend and Christian rock pioneer Michael Tait (from multi platinum band DC Talk) moved into the massive void left by Peter. Now I was one of many people who thought that this was more of a gimmick and the last breath of a band that had seen one change to many… and I was wrong.
What happened was a new birth… and the title of the album suggest more than is obvious from a Christian band. Tait has been able to take the band to places that the band could never had gone to before. The last album (In the hands of God) had a feeling of predictability and it felt like the band had painted themselves into a corner, adding Tait to the mix (with his unique vocal abilities) in essence opened a hidden door allowing the band to rediscover a new sound… while not loosing the sound they are known for.
So what does the album sound like?
Born Again has the usual pop rock sound that NB’s are known for although adding Taits voice has meant that the NB’s have been able to bring an album that takes in all aspects of the rock spectrum… when it’s not rockin’ it has a nice pop feel, when it’s not poppin’ it’s dancing… when it’s not dancing it’s worshipping… it really is very very well done and at no point are you thinking that this isn’t how NB’s should be? It just feels right!
This is an album for all pop music types.
NB’s are able to keep their distinct australasian feel by adding the song by the Aussie Worship group Hillsong ‘Mighty to Save’… adding their own pop flair to it of course… in the past they have used songs by NZ group Magnify and Hillsong United songstress Brooke Fraser, keeping the Aussie and NZ worship scene in the front of the minds of Millions of people around the world. Also by adding ‘When the boys light up’ is also another hat tip to down under seemingly using the Aussie Crawl anthem ‘Boys light up as it’s base.
This album is sonically a kaleidoscope of sound and emotion, and most certainly the best album from the boys since their 1996 album ‘Take Me to your Leader’… the NB’s are also back lyrically to their quirky best with
“Things change, Just like the Twitter that you update Or your Facebook status on your front page there’s no comment you can leave to change my mind”
An album that has something for everyone, it always keeps you guessing what is coming next AND is good quality sound… which is missing from many mainstream albums these days.
And just to keep you happy… Newsboys have made the completion of the DC Talk tribe to the Newsboys family final with the cover of the DCT classic ‘Jesus Freak’ , with KJ52 adding the rap to the song.
This is the album that the Newsboys were formed for… and ‘the boys light up’ and Shine!