STYLE: Rock RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 11955-1523 LABEL: Sparrow SPD95547 FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1 EXTRAS: enhanced CD RELEASE DATE: 2004-11-19 RRP: £12.99
Reviewed by Tony Cummings
When it was first announced in 2003 that the Newsboys were to record a worship album more than one critic made observations which included the words "jumping" and "bandwagon". Certainly, for a band who'd built their reputation with a stream of witty pop rock anthems to suddenly move into the sanctuary did seem a tad opportunistic, inspired more by the sales explosion of modern worship music than by any deep desire to lead listeners into a deeper experience of the living God. But with the excellence of 'Adoration' and the classic status of that album's "He Reigns" and "It Is You" originals it was clear that the band were serious about their new direction. Now along comes 'Devotion' and again it is definitely vertical in nature. In fact the opener, penned by lead singer Peter Furler and long-time musical associate Steve Taylor, is as good a new worship song as you're likely to hear this year. The title song was written by Furler, Taylor and Britain's very own Tim Hughes and with its swaying rhythm and haunting refrain will surely touch many hearts. The covers too are excellent, crisp, rhythmically dense productions and Furler's pining vocals bring out all the joy of Redman's "Blessed Be Your Name" and Hughes' "Name Above All Names". But it's the set of beautifully crafted originals which keep me returning to this CD. Peter Furler said in a recent interview, "If you're writing a worship song for the wrong motives or to sell records, then people can sniff that out. They know a phoney." On 'Devotion' all I could detect was the aroma of Jesus.
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