newsboys [Born Again] | Posted December 28, 2010 Staff Reviewer
Genesis, Van Halen, newsboys. They all did it. Many legendary acts have introduced a new lead singer amidst their career without missing a beat. So when newsboys announced that dc Talk vocalist Michael Tait would take over for exiting front man Peter Furler—after a natural period of surprise—the band and its fans alike began to relish the positives and possibilities of this fresh start. Some have forgotten that newsboys already changed lead vocalists from original singer John James after Take Me To Your Leader to Peter Furler starting with Step Up To The Microphone. This new album opens with “Born Again,” the amazing title track which reflects how newsboys became a band completely renewed. “We’ve all believed in lies at some point. I had some prodigal years in the past,” says Michael Tait. “But I hope the song encourages others to make the same decision I did: “I’m giving Him the best of everything that’s left of the life inside this man / I’ve been born again.” Crowd-rallying “One Shot” is where Michael’s childhood dreams ("All I wanted was to do the rock thing") meet the newfound joys of being center stage with newsboys, helping spread their kingdom cause even further ("We say there’s one way / when push comes to shove we’re gonna sing of His love").
The musical hooks and Michael’s stellar vocals have raised the bar on what to expect from newsboys. From someone who has collected their entire catalog, this is without a doubt their best album in my opinion. My top 3 albums by newsboys are Born Again (2010), Go (2006), and Going Public (1994). “When The Boys Light Up” is destined to be the album’s most celebrated track. A biographical anthem of reignited belief and purpose penned with longtime newsboys collaborator Steve Taylor, it puts every transitional issue anyone might raise to rest. “I was feeling all overcome / Had a faith gone dim and then some / Got a call from a band of brothers . . . / All the doubters I heard them say “now the band’s gonna fade away” / But the ‘boys are back for a second act / No excuses. We’re lighting fuses.” “Running to You” emphasize the change that must occur in a relationship with God: “More than just emotion, my broken heart has chosen / Jesus, I’m running to You.”
What worked for both Go and Going Public is in full effect on Born Again which is that this is a complete album with no filler songs. “Be Still” is an amazing album track from Going Public and “The Mission” is an example from Go. As great as the “hits” are from Born Again, the songs “Impossible,” “Build Us Back” and “On Your Knees” are stand-out album tracks that really complete this album in my opinion. The themes are all relatable and I keep coming back to the album tracks which are rich both lyrically and vocally. As if the 10 new songs aren’t enough to make this a stand-out album, Born Again also includes 2 surprises at the end, “Mighty To Save” and “Jesus Freak.” As arguably the most influential songs of the 1990’s (“Jesus Freak”) and the 2000’s (“Mighty To Save”), what a great way to cap off this excellent album.
Born Again is the HOTTEST album of the year! In comparing top albums this year from former dcTalk members Michael Tait versus TobyMac, advantage Tait and newsboys. If you are looking for musical hooks and lyrics that are not ashamed of the Gospel, you need to get Born Again, hands-down the best album ever by this legendary band. Newsboys already have over 20 #1 hit songs. I expect a few more #1 hit songs from this incredible album, one of my top 5 albums of 2010. “Born Again,” “One Shot,” “Impossible,” “Build Us Back” and “On Your Knees” are among my favorite songs ever by this incredible band.