The Newsboys have been one of the most popular bands in Christian music since its founding in 1985. Noted for bouncy pop songs and infectious melodies, the band compares favorably to mainstream acts like Smashmouth, Maroon 5, and Bruno Mars. For years the group has been a staple at youth-oriented retreats and festivals, including the ELCA Youth Gathering.
Restart is the third album since the band’s lead singer, Peter Furler, was replaced by Michael Tait, formerly with the band DC Talk. Longtime fans may have strong feelings about the transition, but Restart packs sufficient punch to win over some of the skeptics.
Musically, there is considerable variety, as the band branches out from the dance pop sound that made it famous to try Beatlesque British pop (“Fishers of Men”), piano ballads (“That Home”) and straightforward rock (“Man on Fire”). Still, the dominant tone is electronic club music, and there are enough throbbing synthesizers and catchy choruses to keep fans of “the old Newsboys” happy.
The album is strong lyrically as well. While the early Newsboys was often noted for quirky songs (more fun than profound), the current group draws on a stable of industry songwriters to present material that is thought-provoking and spiritually engaging, without being preachy.
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