THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS
When the newsboys took a several-year stint to shift in a primarily worshipful direction, its fan base reacted in various ways. Some longed for its idiosyncratic, but colorful, pop style of the 1990s to continue, while others found the break a change of pace which reeled in even more of the church audience. However, faithfuls in the former category will be elated to learn their favorite rockers from down under have returned in whats arguably its best creative offering since 1998s Step Up to the Microphone. As for those interested in the groups more recent avenues, there are also vertical reflections that will satisfy their needs, while introducing them to the sounds that originally made the newsboys famous.
A series of strutting guitars and socially conscious lyrics frame Wherever We Go, destined to be a concert classic with a catchy chorus that proclaims Hands up/Holler back here/Lets throw this party in gear. The spiritually-centered throw down is also apparent in Go (I Wanna Send You), again filled with sharp strums and danceable elements, plus Peter Furlers instantly recognizable vocals. Something Beautiful sounds especially fresh, putting the front man and newest member, guitarist/vocalist Paul Colman, on the same writing
wavelength to produce a delightful,
techno-touched radio romp.
The band continues to benefit from
frequent collaborator Steve Taylor, who clearly hasnt lost his co-writing edge, throughout several cuts of quirkiness and quality, including the jarring The Mission. He also helps the guys stay focused on their reflective side with In Wonder, clearly tipped towards congregational appeal. The same can be said of the praise pumped I Am Free (a fellow live favorite thats also been made famous by Michael W. Smith) characterized by
rippling beats and electronic nuances.
Like excellent recent albums by Jars of Clay and Skillet, newsboys have found renewed relevance with Go while successfully paying tribute to the past. Though theres a derivative hint of the bands classic song Breakfast via Secret Kingdom, the remainder of the project moves in a progressive direction sure to score mounds of singles. In doing so, the group achieves the rare distinction of
having a cross generational impact, maintaining its old school die-hards, while giving the younger crew something substantial to sink their teeth into.
ANDY ARGYRAKIS- CCMMagazine.com