|NewWorldSon [Rebel Transmission] | Posted April 18, 2012
Award-winning Canadian pop band NewWorldSon offers fans its long-awaited third national release, Rebel Transmission, on April 17. The project’s debut radio single, “Learning to Be the Light” has already cracked the top 3 on the Billboard Christian Songs chart and is one of the most catchy and inspirational songs of the year. The hit song follows the success of their smash hit “There Is A Way” from their last album, NewWorldSon’s first No. 1 single. Until the song became a listener favorite, NewWorldSon had always been viewed as an industry darling but far from a commercial band. It became a turning point for the band, and they began to record songs for its project Rebel Transmission, which is an expression of its gratitude to radio. Opening song “Radio Ghost Town” is one of several extremely catchy, intelligently crafted and potential hit songs found throughout this “gourmet” offering by NewWorldSon. The opener is actually tongue in cheek with the clever play on words in the second verse, “Do you know what they’re feeding you? Mic check, I don’t mean no disrespect, but is my transmission getting through? I’m talking to you” which leads to the super-catchy chorus “this is Radio Ghost Town, Salvation plan in stereo sound, this is a rebel transmission, can anybody hear me now?” As new radio darlings, I love how they are taking it all in stride and staying true to their artistry while expressing truth.
The next two songs clearly display that truth, as “Homeless Child” is a wonderful upbeat song expressing gratitude for salvation with the chorus, “I was a homeless child before You took me in…I was a runaway but now I’m here to stay, Nothing can keep me from Your sweet salvation.” The song features incredible horns including a saxophone and the bridge perfectly expresses freedom in Christ, “And it’s all for free, All You give to me, what a blessing just to be in Your family.” This album is loaded with that type of Truth, especially the next song, “Learning to Be the Light.” There is a great music video showing the band “letting their light shine like a City on a Hill” as commanded by Jesus in Matthew 5:14-16. The song features some of my favorite lyrics ever in the profound second verse, “when a heart is cold as ice, you can’t melt it with advice, no one wants to listen to a list of things they shouldn’t do, so I build a city on a hill, and I light a candle on the hill, knowing that You’ll always be knocking at the door, Oh God I just want to love on everyone, All I have is Yours to give so let the people come.” Yes, that’s what we’re commanded by God, and the song entertains and challenges me to think about how well I’m “learning to be the light.” It is one of my selections for Song of the Year.
“Today” was also co-written by Parisien and Tawgs Salter who are a great hit songwriting team, having also penned “There Is A Day” and “Learning to Be the Light.” “Today” is an ode to surrendering our plans to Christ on a daily basis and is yet another gem on this album. Another highlight for me is “Southern Cross.” The song is a piano based ballad with confessional and personal lyrics beautifully expressed by Parisien. His vocals are tender and engaging as he expresses “there’s a longing in my heart to be a better person, but when I play the part, no one believes a word, so it’s amazing every time I’m received with open arms, no matter what the crime.” Amen!
With this album, NewWorldSon wanted to record something that was a little more produced, more polished, to bring out the vibrancy of its message. Without a doubt, they have succeeded on every level in my opinion. If you like “Learning to Be the Light,” then you must get Rebel Transmission. If there’s one way to best describe this great album, “God is at the center of every single one of our songs,” lead singer and main songwriter Joel Parisien asserts. “The core message of the band is a message of hope, a message of surrender.” For sure, this album is loaded with songs that are thoughtful, catchy, artistic and meaningful. Don’t miss out on these four sons of the New World. This is a great album.
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