Newsboys

Newsboys

Thrive

Sparrow

When you see a record mixed in part by Tom Lord-Alge (who’s worked with everyone from Live to Blink-182, Marilyn Manson, and The Verve Pipe) and mastered by Bob Ludwig, it’s a sure sign that Christian rock has hit the big-money big-time. Not that there’s anything wrong with that (although you have to wonder whether Tom regaled the lads with Manson stories in the studio).

Christian rock in general is guitar pop with keyboards, strings, sound effects and anything else a band can afford to through into the sheening mix. This is a heavily produced affair, with the usual earnest tenor lead vocals throughout, but everything up to and including techno (at the end of “John Woo”) seems to make an appearance, even a chorus of whistlers to introduce “Live In Stereo.” The lyrics vary from clever to absolutely cringe-inducing (“Cornelius”). The Christian content is generally indirectly stated, with the exception of “It Is You,” which is one of the better songs on the album and no doubt one that’ll be heard played by a lot of church praise bands by the time you’re reading this, if not before.

Sparrow Records: http://www.sparrowrecords.com • The Newsboys: http://www.newsboys.com

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