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CD review - CrossRhythms Magazine (in English)

Newsboys - ''step up to the microphone'' (1998)from: CrossRhythms, Issue 48 [Dec.98/Jan.99],
         Page 58
author: Mike Rimmer (UK)
website: http://www.crossrhythms.co.uk/magazine/


Step Up To The Microphone

Star Song 72438201692 CD Book (Alliance Music)

The exit of former frontman John James and the decision no to employ the writing and production services of one Mr Steve Taylor did ring some alarm bells for me but largely the band have weathered the storms of these changes and produced a fine if not classic new release. It starts strong with the killer punches of the catchy "WooHoo" (no relation to Blur) and the horn driven white funk workout on the title cut. Plenty to singalong to in good Newsboys fashion. Although Peter Furler's mock cockney (mockney) accent is a little offputting. (Overdosing on too much Britpop perhaps? Check out "Tuning In" for the worst example!) "Entertaining Angels" was the initial appetite whetting and with its strings and anthemic chorus, it completes the initial attention grabbing hit on the listener. But if only things had continued at such a top quality throughout, what an album this would be! However, it suffers from a sort of mid album droop which even the Viagra style energy of "Truth Be Known" and "Deep End" cannot rectify. It plods to its conclusion and it's definitely a case of close and perhaps one cigar. After the triumph of 'Take Me To Your Leader' this is almost the giant leap forward I'd wanted to hear.

reviewer's rating: 8/10 ["very good indeed"]

--Mike Rimmer ««

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