On the heels of last year's blockbuster Newsboys United reunion tour and the current hit single, "Greatness Of Our God," Christian music supergroup Newsboys is set to unveil their latest FairTrade Services set May 10. United, the groundbreaking recording bringing together former members Peter Furler and Phil Joel with Michael Tait, Duncan Phillips, Jeff Frankenstein and Jody Davis, was produced by Furler and Geoff Duncan.
Furler--a driving force behind such iconic Newsboys hits as "He Reigns," "Entertaining Angels" and "Shine"--also co-wrote four of the album's 10 selections.
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Greatness Of Our God
Love One Another (feat. Kevin Max)
Never Setting Sun
Worth Fighting For
This I Know
Only the Son (Yeshua)
Set Me Ablaze
The Cross Has the Final Word
Greatness Of Our God (Doug Weier Remix)
Only the Son (Yeshua) (Doug Weier Remix)
United: The Story Behind The Album (Interview with Peter Furler & Michael Tait)
What You Need To Know
It's been a little over a year since Newsboys legends Peter Furler and Phil Joel returned to the Newsboys for what turned out to be a legendary night of music. Now, the culmination of both eras of the Newsboys working together has produced a brand new album featuring both Furler and Tait on vocals.
What It Sounds Like
While both Furler and Tait have their distinct brand of Newsboys quirky flare, both also have a distinct style of pop worship, and it's the latter that gets the overwhelming focus on this album. Luckily for fans, the Newsboys have always been great at crafting an anthemic worship song. Even when it's a familiar and safe tune, they've produced some of the most singable and powerful worship songs of our generation. Lead single "Greatness of Our God" is a great example of everything that works with Newsboys worship, and also the great treat of hearing both Tait and Furler in one track. These two play so well off each other that it lifts songs like this one and "Symphony" to instant classic heights. Musically, I'd have liked them to explore a bit more - but, when both men have some legitimate classics written already, it's hard to fault them for going with what flat out works.
There is a smidgen of old school Newsboys feel to "Only The Son (Yeshua)" in it's guitar riff, hook and chorus. This song is another standout and sure to be a favorite live due to its overwhelming energy.
"Never Setting Sun" is a favorite on the album for its catchy power. "Beautiful Story" brings in a needed reflective tone to balance out the energy. Both songs also feature each singer more or less solo, helping to avoid the oversaturation of the duet's novelty.
Only "Love One Another" really feels like it explores the "fun" side of the Newsboys, even bringing in Tait's former bandmate Kevin Max for vocals. However, what should be an epic track feels a bit underdone and slightly clashes tonally with the anthemic worship. Perhaps another collab featuring all these types of songs is in order?
The Newsboys brand of worship excels at crafting strong imagery into worship. "Never Setting Sun" offers Furler's classic nature imagery to portray the wonder of God, while songs like "Beautiful Story" veer more toward the intimate personal side often found in the Tait era. Each song offers an effective worship experience, and even if new ground isn't exactly broken, there's legitimate quality here that stands above the genre's standard.
Final Word "The Cross" has it, of course. See the track on the Deluxe version for details.
In all seriousness, fans of either of the Newsboys' wildly successful but distinct eras will find much to love on United. Both Furler and Tait are legends in the business and their voices contain a power rarely matched in today's musical climate. United is landmark release and a stand out worship/pop release of the year - here's hoping there's more to come from Newsboys United.
Better United| Posted May 11, 2019
In the spring of 2018, former Newsboys lead singer Peter Furler and former bassist Phil Joel joined the then current Newsboy lineup of Michael Tait, Duncan Phillips, Jeff Frankenstein and Jody Davis for a Newsboys reunion tour. Since then the Newsboys United have played more than 150 concerts. As a result, this new studio album has been highly anticipated. And the album, which is comprised of praise and worship songs, does not disappoint. The album, co-produced by Furler and Duncan Sparks and featuring a number of different writers, has a clean and energetic sound, as it merges the former members and current members together for a satisfying result.
Below are a few comments about each song: Greatness of Our God – This worship song about the greatness of God, was written by Bryan Fowler, Colby Wedgeworth and Ethan Hulse. This is the band’s current single. Furler and Tait share lead vocals on an excellent opening song. Symphony – This song was written by Bryan Fowler, Colby Wedgeworth and Ethan Hulse. The voices of Furler and Tait blend well on this prayer, and Phillips’ drums particularly stand out.
Key lyrics: So, let my life be, let my life be A symphony, a symphony
Every breath that I breathe
Lord I wanna bring You glory, glory Love One Another – This song, based on Jesus’ words in John 13:34 “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another”, was written by Duncan Sparks, Furler and Steve Taylor, and features Tait’s former DC Talk bandmate Kevin Max on vocals. The song opens with guitar and then right into a good driving beat. Never Setting Sun – This song was written by Bede Benjamin-Korporaal, Renee Sieff and Seth Mosley. This joyful song of praise to Jesus features Furler primarily on vocals, has an infectious chorus driven by Phillips’ drum beat. Beautiful Story – This song was written by Andrew Holt, Mia Fieldes and Robert Marvin and features Tait on vocals. The power ballad, which will sound good on Christian radio, begins with piano and builds with guitars, bass and drums.
The bridge brings in Romans 8:28 “You work all things together for good.”
Key lyrics: You write a beautiful story From glory to glory I believe Worth Fighting For – This song was written by Furler and Steve Taylor. The song opens with guitar and features a good drum beat. Furler and Tait share vocals on this song about love and forgiveness. The song references Jesus’ commandment in Mark 12:31 “You shall love your neighbor as yourself”. Fearless – This song was written by Jonathan Lindley Smith, Maggie Eckford and Mia Fieldes. The song opens with keys, and features excellent drums from Phillips. Tait and Furler share lead vocals and their voices blend well.
Key lyrics: I am Fearless in Your presence You're all around, me all around me
In my weakness You are strongest
You surround me, You surround me This I Know – This song was written by Aodhan King, Furler, Reuben Morgan and Seth Mosley. The song of praise opens with guitar, starts slowly and then gently builds with drums and keys. He is with us through the trials and has never let us go. Tait and Furler share vocals.
Key lyrics: This I know At the whisper of Your name
There is peace I can't explain
I am fearless, I am safe
Here with You, here with you Only the Son (Yeshua) – This worship song was written by Seth Mosely, Peter Furler and Summer Furler. An early version of the song (“Yeshua”), appeared on the Peter Furler Band’s 2014 album Sun and Shield. A new chorus “Only the Sun” has been added. The song features some good guitar from Davis. Tait and Furler share vocals and their vocals blend well on the memorable chorus. Set Me Ablaze – This song was written by Bryan Torwalt, Jacob Sooter, Katie Torwalt and Mia Fieldes. Furler delivers a passionate lead vocal on this worship song to the Holy Spirit, asking Him to “Breathe, come and breathe on the coals of my heart”. The song features guitar and drums. Deluxe Edition – This Deluxe edition includes one new song, a previously released single, two remixes and an interview. Although I normally prefer a Deluxe edition, I don’t see the extra value in this particular one. Rejoice – This song was written by Steve Taylor and Furler. Tait and Furler share vocals on this upbeat and joyful song. Faith and love make you want to rejoice. The song features good guitar and drums. The Cross Has the Final Word – This worship song about, the power of Jesus and the work He on the cross, was written by Cody Carnes and produced by Seth Mosley. It was released as a single in May, 2017, and was the first song released in which Furler joined the current lineup of the Newsboys. Greatness of Our God (Doug Weier Remix) – This is a remix of a song included on the standard edition. Only the Son (Yeshua) (Doug Weier Remix) – This is a remix of a song included on the standard edition. United: The Story Behind the Album (Interview with Peter Furler and Michael Tait). This is a seven minute plus interview with Doug Hannah.