I have a strange fascination with Christian music. There are times when I cringe from what I hear, and there are times where I see artists with tremendous talent living out their faith. My favorite out of all the Christian artists would have to be the boys from down under, known as the Newsboys. I guess I should say that they STARTED OUT as a band from Australia. Now, after band members coming and going, they have only one true Aussie left (Duncan Phillips). Lead singer Peter Furler, who for me epitomizes everything good about this band, left the band to be replayed by Michael Tait. I still can’t fully express how I feel about this since I always thought Peter WAS the Newsboys. Honestly I think they should have just changed their name. Time will tell how this all pans out in the next few years, especially with their new album being released in July. Anyway I thought I’d bring up three Newsboys albums released before Furler’s “retirement”.
Newsboys Live: Houston We Are Go
After the Newsboys' experiment into the “Worship” territory, they released the album Go. This album returned back to what the Newsboys built a reputation on: lively, bouncy tracks that get stuck in your head for days. Newsboys Live: Houston We Are Go is the CD/DVD version of their tour that supported this album. Let’s face it, I can’t imagine getting let down from a Newsboys show, so this release is obviously is good. However, after seeing their Newsboys - Shine: The Hits Live DVD from 2001, I don’t think another release can top that one. That one set the standard as far as the quality of a Newsboys show. And while Houston We Are Go isn’t a letdown, it doesn’t hold up to Shine. However, if you want to see a more recent concert with all of the Newsboys excitement, then check out Houston We Are Go.
Newsboys: The Ultimate Collection
Want to get a full dosage of Newsboys fun? Then check out the ULTIMATE COLLECTION. This 2-disc set contains most of their best tracks over the years. Of course with each album there are pros and cons. Pros for this would have to be it has most of their well known tracks. Anyone not familiar with the band would do well by listening to this to get a good feel for their sound. Cons would be that it doesn’t contain enough of songs from their old days. I’m talking about when guys were rockin’ mullets and playing songs heavily influenced by the 80’s. Other than that this album is one to have for any fan of the ‘boys.
In The Hands Of God
This album is significant in that it’s the last album released with Peter Furler as lead singer. Reviews for this one were somewhat negative from critics, but forget what they say. At first I wasn’t blown away, but it really grew on me after a few listens. I still keep it on rotation in my playlist. This album is a little more rock than previous Newsboys albums, and the lyrics contain the usual quirky lines that you’ve come to expect from them. Standout tracks for me are The Way We Roll, No Grave, This Is Your Life, The Upside, Dance, and RSL 1984. Honestly, I am sad at the fact that Furler isn’t performing with them anymore, as this is one of the few bands that kept Christian music from heading to the graveyard. I will miss the days of seeing the bald headed Aussie leading the band in their energetic shows. Hopefully, like many other artists that “retire” (Jay-Z, etc) Peter will come back… SOON!