Reviewed by Matthew Cordle
Since forming in 1981 Newsong have clocked up quite a collection of Billboard number one singles, Dove Award nominations and songwriting awards. This latest worship release was recorded live in the round at the First Baptist Church in Woodstock, Georgia, and is the band's first album for Integrity. Produced by Nathan Nockels the sound is big yet there is good stylistic diversity, the inclusion of folk-style instrumentation keeping the sound fresh. As you'd expect from a band who've played together for more than 30 years, the performances are flawless, allowing the songs to easily connect with the listener as the writers share their experiences of how the Christian deals with real life. Somewhat unusually the album opens with the "Doxology", actually a great praise foundation for all that's to come in the next hour; God's unchanging nature, faithfulness, presence, resourcefulness and reliability. The songs are a mixture of original and covers of the likes of Hillsong, Desperation Band and Matt Redman. Matt Butler states that as soon as they heard Desperation Band's "Make A Way" it resonated as "we've lived through that 'God, if you don't come through, there's no way' moment in each of our lives. When Russ' wife battled cancer, when we almost lost my daughter at birth, these songs resonated because we've been there, and we know our audiences are struggling with the same kinds of things." One of the most stirring songs is Hillsong's "This I Believe"; the delicate opening piano motif initially drawing you into reflective mode, then the song quickly swelling to a powerful confession of belief in the form of a creed. Elevation Worship's Chris Brown's "Give Me Faith" closes the album, an anthem of a prayer that God would soften and shape us, and give us faith to trust him, as "I may be weak/Your Spirit's strong in me/My flesh may fail/My God you never will".
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|Recorded at Woodstock First Baptist Church just outside Atlanta, GA, NewSong led a congregation of worshippers in a great time of worship. With songs penned with All Sons & Daughters, Elias Dummer from The City Harmonic as well as songs from Hillsong, Matt Redman, and Desperation Band, this collection brought the band back to the heart of what they do; leading people in worship.|
Recorded “in the round,” Faithful is intimate yet anthemic in nature and these songs will be sung for years to come in churches and gathering across the globe.