Release Date: March 31st 2023
Reviewed by: Jonathan Andre
Newsboys– He Lives (Single) (Amazon mp3/iTunes)
- He Lives
One of the most inspiring, honest, vulnerable, comforting, moving, thought-provoking, comforting, and confronting artists I’ve heard throughout the almost 33 years I have been alive; is the Aussie CCM band Newsboys. Comprising of Michael Tait, Jeff Frankenstein, Jody Davis, and Duncan Phillips; this 30 + year old band originated in the Sunshine Coast of Queensland. My brother Jon wrote a blog about the group a few years ago, that you can read about here, as well as his most recent reviews on the band’s 2021 album STAND from 2021, STAND (Deluxe) from last year, and their 2019 album UNITED, which reunited long-time members Phil Joel and Peter Furler for a season- for the highly popular Newsboys United tour as well! One of the bands that I was listening to starting from back in 2006 until now- it was this band amongst others that helped me expand my musical horizons beyond just Carman and Delirious?. Not that those aforementioned artists were bad in any way (check out blogs about Carman and Delirious? here and here!); but when you look at Newsboys and their impact the humble Aussie band have had on the CCM industry as a whole (read our blog about Newsboys here!)… how could you not be enamoured and impacted by their music? Songs like “Breakfast”, “Shine”, “He Reigns”, “Love Liberty Disco”, “It Is You”, “Million Pieces”, “Entertaining Angels”, “In Wonder”, “Wherever We Go”, “In The Hands Of God”, “Born Again”, “God’s Not Dead”, “We Believe”, “Guilty”, “Crazy”, “I’m Not Ashamed”, “You Are My King (Amazing Love)”, “Step Up To The Microphone”, “Stay Strong”, “Glorious”, “Lord (I Don’t Know)”, “Thrive”, “Devotion”, “Presence (My Heart’s Desire)”, “I Am Free”, “That Home” and “Live With Abandon” have all impacted my life, and most likely the lives of many people in the whole world.
Even with Michael Tait replacing Peter Furler as lead vocals back in 2009… listeners and critics have embraced Michael and welcomed this transition of lead vocals with open arms. The result is a group that has been around for over 30 years, who has presented the word of God in their songs many, many times, and a band who is unashamed of the gospel; and whose mission is to draw people closer to Jesus, regardless of how popular that may be or look like to the modern mainstream, and at times now accepted world at large. In 2019, the group released their most ambitious project in probably CCM history. UNITED featured the return of Phil Joel and Peter Furler- and you can read all about the album and our thoughts here. If you’re fascinated about Newsboys generally and their history though, you can read their Wikipedia… but since a couple of weeks ago is when Newsboys have released their latest single “He Lives”; well I’d say that it’s time to let you all know my thoughts of this Easter-themed song, and give you all my two cents’ worth, don’t you think?
Did we ever think this day would come? Newsboys recently announced that former Stellar Kart and Audio Adrenaline frontman Adam Agee would be joining the band (for bass guitar and co-lead vocals); and does this mean that they’re phasing out Michael Tait on lead vocals now? Adam’s inclusion on this track as a co-lead on vocals and on many more tracks this year is welcome for some and possibly highly controversial for long-time fans. No doubt, Newsboys is now more of a brand than a band now, and if ever Michael were to leave, the band would continue with Adam at the helm. Regardless of your thoughts of the addition of a new member (who can sing!), the song of “He Lives” is actually pretty good. A vertical worship melody that speaks about how Jesus lives and that He has conquered the grave, both Michael and Adam powerfully and eloquently relay to us that ‘…He lives, all honor and power are His, all glory forever, amen Jesus lives…You took all our shame, left it in the grave, we’re forgiven, we’re forgiven, the work forever done, only by the blood, it is finished, it is finished…’; “He Lives”, alongside Phil Wickham’s “Sunday Is Coming” (another Easter themed song!), is one of my favourite songs of the year thus far.
A couple months ago, the Newsboys approached me about joining them on stage for this tour and moving forward. I’ve been a fan of these guys since I was a teenager and I’ve known them personally for over 15 years.
We’ve played hundreds of shows together over the years and they are some of my best friends. I’m excited to help out with the show by playing bass, guitars, and singing, as well as collaborating in the studio with writing and creating new music.
It’s truly an honor to share the stage with these guys and I can’t wait for you to see the show that we’ve come up with. I’m looking forward to this new season and what God has in store for all of us!
‘He Lives’ is such a powerful song about the resurrection of our Savior. Having sung it at church while we are home from the road, I knew it was one to include as we put this next project together, and to have it feature our friend and touring mate Adam Agee as he joins the band, it is the perfect song to celebrate this Easter season.
What more can I say about “He Lives”, that I haven’t mentioned already? Personally, I reckon this melody is a stellar entry into the catalogue of Newsboys, probably similar in theme and lyrical impact to “God’s Not Dead”. But if you’re perturbed by Adam’s inclusion here, than this song probably won’t work for you. But I’d say check it out anyway, as you never know if your new favourite song will be this worshipful melody or not. As the overall encompassing theme of Newsboys’ latest song is one that is worshipping Jesus because He lives and that He has risen from the grave; we are reminded by this fact and are encouraged to live out our faith more. And so, I will say this: well done guys, for this brand-new single (from possibly an upcoming new album!), that inspires and provides hope and security in Jesus Christ. I can’t wait to hear what God has in store for you next in the future!
I think the best years are ahead of this. I don’t believe everything I see on mainstream media. I’m not saying it’s not real, don’t get me wrong. I know it’s real, I know it’s really happening, but I think sometimes there’s a lot more going on. So be encouraged; God is good, we win in the end, it’s all good. And worst-case scenario, if we all die, we all go to be with the Creator. So in the scope of eternity, this is just a very, very small part of time.
I think you’ve got to become a lover of people. When you become a lover of people, these things don’t matter as much. I don’t think we’re as divided as we’re led to believe. Whether race, whether it comes to ethnicities, whether it comes to gay, straight, lesbian, is none of my business. That is between them and their Creator. What I’m called to do is love you, is to go out to all the world, preach the Gospel with love. I think there’s a lot more that connects us than doesn’t. It’s not about Republican versus Democrat. It’s not about black versus white; we all bleed red blood.
There’s something about when you come together as a group of people. I think what I love about Newsboys is it’s so interdenominational. We see Mennonites to Catholics to Protestants to you name it. Three generations of fans coming to enjoy Newsboys.
RIYL: Audio Adrenaline, Newsboys 1.0, Stellar Kart, DC Talk