Newsong’s latest album took me by surprise. I had the album sitting in a folder somewhere on my laptop for the longest time because it wasn’t one of those “anticipated” albums. I was in no rush to review it, or even listen to it. How wrong and ignorant I was. Although the “Faithful” album wasn’t ushered in with bells and whistles (which would have given me a proper heads-up), it is one of the best live records I have heard in 2015. Yes, this record is that brilliant.
Faithful by Newsong
From start to the finish every song complements the other, and together making a great collection of tunes which will eventually lead you to that point where you experience an avalanche of God’s love through worship.
Ironically they roll the ball with “Doxology,” starting the album with a rocked up rendition of the doxology. If you ask me it was a perfect opening.
“Angels” follows as the band chants “amazing grace how can it be, I once was blind but now I see things angels only see…. ohh ohhh ohhh you keep showing me things angels only see”. This tune is energetic and infectious and it will definitely results in you clapping or stomping your feet.
“Hallelujah (Bride In White)” sees the band get all “folktronica.” This is reminiscent of Crowder’s “I Am” meets The City Harmonic’s “Holy (Wedding Day).” The tune fuses folk and electronica beautifully. This is one trend that I wouldn’t mind hearing more of. As interesting as the rhythm is I must also add that the song is properly written with palpable lyrics. The whole “bride in white” line makes it easy to spot the work of Elias Dummer from the band The City Harmonic.
Newsong then covers the 2014 Hillsong Worship tune “I Believe (The Creed)”. This was one of my favourite tunes from the album, probably because The Apostles Creed is such a powerful declaration of faith and believe. The song is written by the incredible team of Ben Fielding and Matt Crocker.
Speaking of incredible writers being part of the project, we have storyteller-songwriter Matthew West co-penning “Keep Me Close,” and the wonderful folks of All Sons and Daughters (Leslie Jordan & David Leonard) in “Faithful.”
Album title-track “Faithful” will definitely get you up clapping and singing glory to His name. I am almost certain of it, if I were a sales person I would say if you don’t vibe to this tune then I can single handedly offer your money-back. “‘Faithful’ is a great opportunity for us to focus on the fact that we are alive only because God is faithful,” Lee shares. “He has never wavered in His devotion to us, and He never will.”
[Video via YouTube]
The Desperation Band-penned tune “Make A Way“ is also featured on the project.
“As soon as we heard ‘Make A Way,’ we knew it would go over because we’ve lived through that ‘God, if you don’t come through, there’s no way’ moment in each of our lives,” says lead vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Matt Butler.
“When Russ’ wife battled cancer. When we almost lost my daughter at birth. These songs resonate because we’ve been there, and we know our audiences are struggling with the same kinds of things.”
Get ready to be wowed by Riley Engquist, as she takes lead in the piano oriented tune “Yours.” She sings
“I am Yours/Jesus I need nothing more/I am Yours”
The performance is so astounding that it will leave you with goose bumps (don’t say I didn’t warn you).
It is not unusual to have songs on an album that are fillers, songs that mostly gets skipped but that’s not the story with “Faithful.” “Faithful” is a total package. The project recorded live at First Baptist Church in Woodstock, Georgia, is produced by Nathan Nockels (Chris Tomlin, Passion). Beyond the sonically bit, the music actually resonates. The album shows that this band had grown. “Faithful” gives them an additional ennoblement since their last live album 10 years ago.