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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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