Reviewed by Tracy Darlington
Go by Newsboys
"Upbeat and uplifting."
I first saw the Newsboys at the Creation Music Festival in the early ‘90's when they still had their spinning drum machine. With two decades under their belt the Newsboys have had several of their albums reach the gold mark. It was after touring Europe, Morocco, and Tiberius, Israel recently that they were especially moved to record an album reflecting the Great Commission. Go is their first pop cd in four years, and Steve Taylor is back helping with the lyrics and style. Ted T. and Paul Colman (now the official guitar player for the band) had their hands in the song writing as well this time.
Some of the tracks on this album bring me back to their Take Me To Your Leader days, especially “Secret Kingdom” for its similar instrumentation to “Breakfast”. But fans of their previous worship albums will be pleased to hear “In Wonder” and “I Am Free,” which has a very U2esque sound to it. Frontman Peter Furler’s trademark vocals are showcased as usual. But the Newsboys have matured musically since their first release Read All About It in 1988. They now bring us enough variety to keep us going onto the next track. The guitars and the drums are tighter and more sophisticated, and there’s an occasional mellow keyboard, as in the classic “Let it Be” sound-alike “Let it All Come Out”.
“Wherever We Go” starts things off and makes a great concert opener, showcasing Steve Taylor’s quirky lyrical contributions: Wherever we go, the bees behave. In the treetops, squirrels smile and wave. It’s a curious thing. And it’s humbling. It’s also their first radio single. There’s a catchy rhythm and a dominant bass drum you can feel in your belly in “Your Love is Better Than Life.” But my favorite song on this album has to be the title track “Go”. It’s got an unforgettable great beat and positive words with an early Audio Adrenaline feel to it.
The cd finale “Gonna Be Alright” is unique to the rest of the album and is probably the most interesting, with lead vocals akin to Supertramp and muted female voices in the background. I’d love to have heard more cuts like this one.
The Newsboys have definitely scored another hit cd to add to your collection. Upbeat and uplifting, Go could even be their best to date.
Tracy Darlington is a freelance writer, and her work has appeared in Brio, Breakaway, YS, CCM Magazine, Insight, Susie Magazine, and other publications. She has interviewed countless Christian musicians including Rebecca St. James, Delirious, Newsboys, Leigh Nash, Barlowgirl, Krystal Meyers, Joy Williams, Pillar, Michelle Tumes, and many others. In her spare time she can be found riding horses or listening to music and sipping a Venti 3-shot sugar-free vanilla latte. Visit her online at her blog where she talks about Music, God, dogs and coffee. You can also look her up at Twitter and Facebook.