Review Summary: The Newsboys progress a lot on this album. The pop songs are blended perfectly with the anthems which show how creative the Newsboys got with this album and that they took time to make it and produce it. The anthems on this album are incredible and ver1 of 1 thought this review was well written
The Newsboys “Step Up To The Microphone”, is a great album but it lacks any identity or variety. Besides the classic anthem “Entertaining Angels”, the album is filled with normal Newsboys songs that have goofy lyrics and catchy choruses. But still this album put the Newsboys on top of the Christian music world. The logical thing for the Newsboys to do would to make another pop album filled with big choruses and nonsensical lyrics. But instead the Newsboys went completely into the left field and made an album half filled with anthem and half filled with their normal pop songs. This mix of songs and ideas probably leaves you with three questions: Does this mix of anthems and pop songs somehow work out? How good are the anthems? Is the songwriting improved?
The mix of pop songs and anthems works out brilliantly. The album starts out with the very catchy and well written “Beautiful Sound” which somehow goes perfectly into the fun and crazy “Love Liberty Disco”. The songs blend together nicely and it was a good job by the Newsboys by making an album of such different sounds work together. When we have the beat driven “Good Stuff” leading nicely into the self worth ballad “Everyone’s Someone” you know that Newsboys took their time to make this album work.
The anthems on this album are surprisingly superb. The first “Beautiful Sound” is an aggressive song with a huge chorus, a song you could hear being sang in many modern churches today. The flow of the lyrics maybe the best the Newsboys have ever had and it perfectly leads into the very emotional chorus. The instruments in this song are very mellow but fit the lyrics nicely. This is probably the best song of the album and a very good opener. The song “Forever Man” starts with the vocals in a complete falsetto and then the momentum picks up and develops nicely into a very catchy chorus. The song isn’t just a normal Christian song where there is a story of someone struggling and then turning to Jesus and having their problems worked out. The song describes God as a “Forever Man” and saying he is always watching over us. Another cool thing about this song is how distorted the vocals are in the surrounding verses and the Newsboys also uses dual vocals for the first time in memory. “Everyone’s Someone” starts of with a cool beat in the background with some electric guitar. The beat basically stays the same throughout the song but after every line the electric guitar starts a riff. The chorus is pretty dang good as it conveys a message of self worth and does it very well. The breakdown at the end of the song has the Newsboys singing a lot of lyrics together while the beat of the drums take the center stage with the electric guitar in the background this is just another thing this song does well. “Break” is a very unique song because it is basically all sang in falsetto. The piano starts of really soft but as we build towards the chorus it gets louder and faster and it really corresponds with the vocalist lyrics well. The song is very good because it is all driven by raw emotion; honestly the chorus is the emotional peak of the album. The vocals on this song are the best of the album and are probably the most impressive of the Newsboys career. The song you originally thought was going to be an interlude is one of the more emotional songs of the album. “I Surrender All” is going to remind you of “Everyone’s Someone” a lot until the breakdown. The song is beat driven with electric guitar in the background and the vocals are once again distorted. The breakdown here is just incredible and is some of the best lyrics the Newsboys have ever written.
The lyrics on this album are A LOT better than the Newsboys previous albums. This is because they blend the craziness that most of their previous songs had with some very retrospective and detailed lyrics. The song that mixes both these types of lyrics together is the incredible opener “Beautiful Sound”:
To have found You, and still be looking for You,
It's "the soul's paradox of love."
You fill my cup, I lift it up for more.
I won't stop now that I'm free.
I'll be chasing You
Like You chase me
This is a good example because of how sarcastically the “soul’s paradox of love” lyric is sang, yet the context of the lyrics is still about a spiritual quest and finding Jesus. The “I’ll be chasing you, Like you chase me” is not only a great lyric but it is sang with a lot of emotion where the Newsboys would previously just hide there great lyrics. The song “I Surrender All” probably features one of the Newsboys best breakdowns with this lyric:
he doesn't love us 'cause of who we are
he only loves us 'cause of who he is
This is not only a great lyric and thought it shows us two things: that the Newsboys are taking there time to write lyrics and that the new dual vocals are perfect for the band. The lyrics on this album are taken to a new level of maturity and are very well thought out.
The Newsboys progress a lot on this album. The pop songs are blended perfectly with the anthems which show how creative the Newsboys got with this album and that they took time to make it and produce it. The anthems on this album are incredible and very emotional which shows a new variety that the Newsboys had never had before. The lyrics take a HUGE step forward and are the best the Newsboys have ever written. The Newsboys create a superb album here and it is definitely worth a listen.
Say You Need Love
I Surrender All
Some songs sound the same