Posts Tagged ‘Newsboys’

Who Can Know It? by Showbread: “Expect the unexpected” is what I’ve come to, well, “expect”  from Showbread. So, unsurprisingly, their fifth endeavor sounds nothing like their previous four. The most obvious difference is the absence of screaming, so the casual Showbread fans will once again be haters. Not that Showbread cares. If you’re like me and listen to Showbread for their lyrics, you will love this record. The lyrics are typical Showbread- potent, unabashed, and thought-provoking (the only aspect of Showbread that is consistent). But the topics are heavier this time around, perhaps the reason for the more subdued, mellow music.


Paper Tongues by Paper Tongues: Even though it was still quite early in the year when Paper Tongues released their mind-blowingly spectacular debut, I knew that this would be my favorite new band of 2010. Their debut is a glorious fusion of hip/hop, rock, and soul. An undeniably catchy, accessible release like this will surely propel Paper Tongues into the mainstream limelight. This is definitely the band to watch for in 2011.



Miracle by Robbie Seay Band: Authenticity- for me, that’s one of the most important things in an artist. Robbie Seay is one the most humble and legit dudes I’ve ever met, and Miracle is a reflection of that. The lyrical poignancy and honesty on Miracle is truly a breath of fresh air from the cookie-cutter, sugarcoated lyrics that are all too common in mainstream worship music today. Case in point, “Kingdom & A King.”



Horseshoes & Handgrenades by Disciple: I expected this. And by this I mean a change in Disciple’s sound. With only one original member remaining, it was inevitable. Say goodbye to the days of Scars Remain, and hello to mid-tempo rock songs. …I make it sound worse than it is though. There’s still some explosiveness in the new record (after all, “handgrenades” is in the title). It’s just not the same… *sigh*



15 Live by Project 86: Being one of my all-time favorite bands, I’ve been waiting for these guys to release a live album for some time now. And it almost turned out to be what I had hoped forraw, chaotic, and containing everything that’s awesome about Project 86. Two key ingredients are missing however, Randy and Steve (neither member has officially announced their departure, but they no longer tour with the band so…). Project 86 is promoting this album as a celebration of the band’s long and prosperous career, yet with the absence of two founding members all Project 86 really is anymore is Andrew Schwab. Now don’t get me wrong, Schwab is one awesome dude, but one dude doesn’t make a band (unless you’re The Rocket Summer). This leaves me wondering if P86 will make it to their 16th anniversary...

The Medicine by John Mark McMillan: Every year there’s at least one record that wows me. For 2010, The Medicine would be that album. A review of this wonderfully organic folk/rock record would not do it justice. So I’ll simply tell you to just buy it.




Hymns: Take The World, But Give Me Jesus by Ascend The Hill: Is it just me or are a lot of worship bands covering hymns these days? Looking at the tracklist as I downloaded this album, I was admittedly bummed to see yet another worship band covering traditional hymns. My sentiment completely changed less than thirty seconds into the album. These renditions are so modern and creative that if I wasn’t familiar with these songs, I would have never guessed them to be hymns. If you only pick up one worship album this year, make it this one (and it’s available for free at, so you really have no excuse).


The Light Meets The Dark by Tenth Avenue North: I like this album. There I said it. I’ve ruined all the music snob credibility that I had in one simple sentence (if I ever had any?). It’s overproduced and cliche at times, but hey, I’m entitled to at least one guilty pleasure album a year, right?




Vessels by Ivoryline: There are very few bands that I don’t get. Even if I don’t like a band, be it because it’s not my style or bad musicianship, I can usually figure out why others may enjoy it. Ivoryline is one those bands that I don’t get. At all. I didn’t see the draw of their debut record, and I don’t understand the praise for Vessels. So, I’m humbly asking for an Ivoryline fan to explain their love of this band to me in the comments section. Thanks.



Dark is the Way, Light is the Place by Anberlin: Anberlin is back. Not in an epic way like Cities, but they have certainly made a comeback from their first major label release, New Surrender, which was slightly above a flop. Dark Is The Way is Anberlin’s maturest album yet; a happy medium between the pop sound of New Surrender and the dark rock of Cities. With this solid release, Anberlin is finally receiving the mainstream attention that they deserve.



Born Again by Newsboys: Wow, okay, here we go. Michael Tait taking over for Peter Furler totally baffled me. Actually, I should say “baffles me,” because I’m still confused even a year later after this bizarre and startling announcement. Obviously, with this huge change, the new album sounds quite different from previous ones. Less pop, plus more rock, plus… tobyMac? Yup, some tracks sound like they could have come right off of a tobyMac record, which is actually no surprise considering Toby had a hand in the album. It’s a catchy and likable album, but sadly marks the end of the quirky pop that made the Newsboys a CCM sensation.


Flags by Brooke Fraser: Last but not least, we arrive at my favorite album of the year. I could gush on and on about this album, or even just Fraser’s flawless vocals and impeccable tone. But I’ll try to keep it short. Sonically, Flags is a mixed bag. The upbeat songs are mostly cute and fun folk/rock, while the slower tunes are almost ethereal yet still fall into the folk genre. And then there are songs like “Jack Kerouac” that fit neither of the previous categories. Lyrically, I have yet to really dive in, but one song that has caught me thus far is “Crows + Locusts.” I honestly haven’t even dug into the song’s meaning yet; I just love the lyrical imagery. And at the risk of blubbering on for eternity, I’ll shut up now.

Agree? Disagree? Comments on any other 2010 albums? Sound off below.


I didn’t see as many bands on Thursday (7/1) as I had planned, because I ended up sitting in on a few interviews (House of Heroes, Seabird, & Newsboys) with another organization. But I still got to see some pretty awesome bands!



Thoughts: Seabird was one of the few, possibly the only, piano-based rock act at Creation. Their set was great, but there stage presence seemed a little off. I think Seabird is one of those bands that is better experienced in a more intimate setting, like a club or smaller venue.

Set List: Believe Me, Let Me Go On, The Good King, Baby I’m In Love, This Road, Rescue, Don’t Change A Thing, Don’t You Know You’re Beautiful, Jargon (Cottonmouth)

For more info:


House Of Heroes

Thoughts: House of Heroes was one of the most talented groups to grace the Fringe Stage. One of the best parts of their live shows are their harmonies. Unlike many other bands I’ve seen, they can actually pull off their harmonies live. And they tell great jokes too- “What did the Buddhist say to the hotdog vendor? Make me one with everything.”

Set List: Code Name Raven, God Save The Foolish Kings, If, Leave You Now, Elevator, Serial Sleepers, So Far Away, Field Of Daggers, Lose Control, Buckets For Bullet Wounds, In The Valley Of The Dying Sun

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The Classic Crime

Thoughts: The Classic Crime is AMAZING live. There’s nothing really unique about their set; they just put on a good, solid rock show. Nothing more, nothing less. I didn’t expect The Classic Crime to play so many songs off of their first record, but it was nice to hear some old stuff, especially The Fight (one of my favs!).

Set List: Cheap Shots, Say The Word, Abracadavers, Who Needs Air, A Perfect Voice, Seattle, Four Chords, Coldest Heart, Solar Powered Life, Salt In The Snow, The Fight, Blisters & Coffee

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Thoughts: I have to say, The Newsboys show is still as entertaining with new vocalist Michael Tait as it was with Peter Furler. Halfway through their set keyboardist Jeff Frankenstein and guitarist Jody Davis were put on risers that rose as high as the top of the stage frame and went out above the crowd. It was a neat feature for the show, but probably nerve-racking for the band, as it was the first time these risers had been implemented in their live show.

Set List: Something Beautiful, Whenever We Go, Way Beyond Myself, Escape, Blessed Be Your Name, He Reigns, Mighty To Save, Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus (a capella), When The Boys Light Up, Born Again, Miracles, Shine/Breakfast/Play That Funky Music, One Shot, Jesus Freak (with guest rapper KJ-52).

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