Review: Newsboys – God’s Not Dead – The Greatest Hits of the Newsboys

newsboysSure it’s just marketing but the title of longtime CCM stalwarts Newsboys’ latest offering, God’s Not Dead – The Greatest Hits of the Newsboys, feels just a little dishonest. A band with two decades of experience in the industry that’ve garnered their fair share of awards and accolades and packed out plenty of stadiums while cycling through a few lead singers and band mates along the way, compiling the Newsboys hits into one album is pushing it. But, while a better title for this outing might be “Greatest Hits of the Newsboys 2.5-3.0,” primarily featuring the current lineup of Michael Tait, Duncan Phillips, Jeff Frankenstein, and Jody Davis, it’s still a record packed with plenty of tasty hits from the longtime band.

Bypassing the earlier days of the band, this collection of hits focuses on their more recent history, with tracks drawn from Peter Furler’s stint as frontman as well as current lead singer, Michael Tait’s, tenure. The result is a collection that highlights the band’s continued relevance as well as their shift from being an eclectic rock outfit into more modern worship tones.

Among the hits to be found here are the celebrated title track, a song that’s been covered by many but has received special attention with the band’s solid delivery, not to mention the added background vocals from Kevin Max, making the feel less like a Newsboys’ track than a dcTalk jam but it’s still a great opening. The Tait-fronted “Born Again” shows up here and carries a similar vibe and shows that this band can still deliver solid radio rock while “Your Love Never Fails” and “Something Beautiful” point to the band’s transition musically, delivering tracks that are geared toward corporate worship with bright, danceable themes.

Covers of popular worship anthem “Mighty to Save” and “I Am Free” also make an appearance here alongside their rendition of “Revelation Song,” one of their biggest worship hits. Peter Furler’s “In the Hands of God” will take listeners back while “Wherever We Go” and “Save Your Life” deliver familiar hits of high energy and good memories. “The King is Coming” highlights the band’s newfound direction as a worship act before “In Wonder” closes things out with a bit of the old and a bit of the new.

The only disappoint here on the Newsboys latest greatest hits offering is the fact that many of these tracks are covers. For a band once known for clever lyricism and playful musicianship on tracks like “Shine” and “Breakfast,” it’s something of a disappointment to see them having somewhat jumped on the bandwagon of worship covers. However, the saving grace is that when they do cover a song, they cover it with serious passion and honest emotion, doing their best to truly lead others into worship. And that’s what makes God’s Not Dead – The Greatest Hits of the Newsboys as worthy listen.

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