Release Date: July 22nd 2022
Reviewed by: Joshua Andre
- King Of Kings (feat. Bart Millard of MercyMe)
One of the most inspiring, honest, vulnerable, comforting, moving, and inspiring artists I’ve heard throughout the 32 and a half 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 that you can read about here, as well as his most recent reviews on the band’s album STAND 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 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 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 and their history, you can read their Wikipedia… but since this past week is when Newsboys have released their brand new single “King Of Kings”… well it’s time to let you all know my thoughts of this song, and give you all my two cents’ worth, don’t you think?
If you’re scratching your head thinking to yourself ‘hey, I recognise this song!’; then you’re right. “King Of Kings” is a Hillsong Worship cover- the original song released as a single in mid-2019 and we actually reviewed the song here. One of the most theologically and biblically sound melodies to come out of Hillsong in a while; right now, Hillsong isn’t that popular at the moment. Youtuber Ruslan can tell you more about it, but when Brian Houston stepped down from being senior pastor, and then later on from his entire role at the church; the world was critical about Hillsong in general, and especially their music arm. Yet to me, that doesn’t discourage me from listening to any Hillsong song- because more than ever, we need to separate the art from the artist. And so, when Newsboys unveiled their pop/worship cover of “King Of Kings” last week, with Bart Millard from MercyMe as a guest vocal; I was intrigued. Hillsong aren’t my favourite worship band ever, but “King Of Kings” is a near-perfect worship song. “Jesus Did”, Newsboys’ previous single, was solid but still mediocre, and so I thought that perhaps Newsboys’ best days might have been behind them. Still, I persevered in listening to this song (because they’re Newsboys!); and lo and behold, here we are, as Newsboys deliver a high-quality cover and a song that proves that these guys are still relevant and relatable to the CCM market.
What more can I say about “King Of Kings” the song, that I haven’t mentioned already? Personally, I reckon this song is beautifully crafted and brilliantly sung- both Michael and Bart’s vocals are sublime. This song reminds me of the God’s Not Dead era- probably one of my favourite Michael Tait eras; and if you’re not a fan of Michael Tait as lead singer and prefer Peter Furler instead, then perhaps “King Of Kings” probably won’t resonate with you. But I’d say check it out anyway, as you never know if it’ll be your new favourite worship cover or not. As the overall encompassing theme of Newsboys’ latest full-length project is one that is being convicted and passionate to stand for Christ in everything that we do; we are reminded by this fact and are encouraged to be more active in our faith. In this song of “King Of Kings” we are also encouraged that Jesus is the King of Kings and that we can praise Him because who everything He’s done. With Newsboys preparing for a deluxe edition of Stand to presumably release in September this year; let us remember to always stand for truth, even if it isn’t popular and the hip thing to do. Well done guys for your take on a melody that though musically and lyrically simple, is one that undoubtedly makes us think. I can’t wait to hear what God has in store for you next in the future!
RIYL: Audio Adrenaline, Newsboys 1.0, Stellar Kart, DC Talk