STYLE: Rock RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 78559-15650 LABEL: Sparrow 094635219623 FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 2 RELEASE DATE: 2009-06-16
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Reviewed by Ian Hayter
Of the past eight albums released by the now veteran Aussie rockers, only one has been a new studio album. Apart from 'In The Hands Of God' released in the spring of this year, all the others have been live albums, two-for-one re-releases and greatest hits packages. Here's another - 24 tracks of fine songs, including "Shine", "Step Up To The Microphone" and "Love Liberty Disco" - put together by the record company as an 'Ultimate ...' package (along with a whole series by the likes of dc Talk, Keith Green and John Michael Talbot). In what sense it is "ultimate"? It doesn't include songs from their first couple of albums. It isn't composed solely of chart-toppers. The songs are not all examples of the very best of creative music (quite a bit of the Newsboys' oeuvre is pretty derivative, it has to be said). Maybe it's "ultimate" in the sense of being the last - who knows? Although there are a number of really good pop-rock anthems on this double album, sprinkled with a few worshipfully reflective songs ("In Christ Alone" and "You Are My King" amongst them), this is really only for those who have never bought a Newsboys album and want to get most of the best bits in one reasonably-priced go, or those utter completists who really need to have in their collection everything that the Newsboys have ever done. Anyone else will think that this is just another example of marketing overkill from EMI CMG. The songs are good (you can read reviews of them in most of the other Newsboys reviews on this website), but the idea of yet another greatest hits package is not.
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