Committed to the Good News
Posted February 29, 2016
By JJFrancesco_NRT, Staff Reviewer
I think it's safe to say that, several albums in, both fans and the band have settled into the Michael Tait era of the Newsboys. We know what to expect, musically and sonically. And with a God's Not Dead sequel hitting theaters this spring, it's no surprise that several of the songs on their latest album, Love Riot, seem designed to tie into similar themes.
The signature marks of the hits under the Tait era thus far are displayed in lead single "Guilty" and the bold opener "Crazy." Echoes of "God's Not Dead" (and even "Jesus Freak") abound with themes of boldly standing for Christ in a world often opposing Him.
"Family of God" and worship cut "No Longer Slaves" offer encouragement, while the title track and the legacy-minded "What I Want Them To Say" offer calls to action. The electronically-tinged pop rock is primed for radio and headlining live sets in sold out arenas. Tait's vocals are some of contemporary Christian music's best; he can sell pretty much anything he sings. The music mostly keeps up with those vocals, especially on gems like the exciting title track. Some melodies sound a little well-tread, and some of these themes have been played out quite a bit, but none of that detracts from the album's grand presence or the foot-tapping hooks.
If you're expecting something astoundingly innovative, this may not be where to look. The past few years have cemented what this era of Newsboys will sound like, a sound which has become a defining force in CCM. This album essentially epitomizes what contemporary Christian music looks like right now: the message, the passion, the sound and the meaning. This is an example of CCM at its best, delivering earworm after earworm.
The Bottom Line: Expect to hear several of these songs top radio charts this year and further solidify the Newsboys as one of CCM's signature acts.
Song to Download Now:
"Crazy" (Get it on iTunes here.)
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