Combine the strengths of two super-groups that have sold millions of records, achieved an astounding number of #1 radio hits and received numerous Dove Awards. The result? A reborn newsboys. Now that longtime members Jody Davis (guitar), keyboardist Jeff Frankenstein and drummer Duncan Phillips have welcomed the vocal strengths, writing talents and boundless energy of former dc Talk member Michael Tait to the band, this is clearly a good reason to feel born again and in fact, share some new songs. On June 8th, newsboys are eager than ever to release their 15th studio project, aptly titled Born Again (inpop records).
When newsboys announced in 2009 that Tait would take over the lead vocals, the band and their fans began to relish the positives and possibilities of this brand new start. “Tait is great for us because he’s a real team player and brings a lot of enthusiasm to the mix of personalities,” Jody Davis explains. Even though Davis, along with Frankenstein and Phillips, have played together since newsboys first broke through with 1992’s Not Ashamed, Tait immediately, and easily, became part of the unique and tight newsboys unit.
“We’re all getting a new lease on life from this,” Jeff Frankenstein states. “The core of the band—myself, Jody, and Duncan—is reunited, and Mike is an amazing singer. It’s providential.”
Tait couldn’t agree more. When newsboys called he was actually working with the legendary Clive Davis on a solo project in Los Angeles. Yet after a few great concerts together he knew the invitation to join the band was just what he needed.
Now, the foursome is embarking on a sure-to-be momentous year with Born Again, which was produced by The Write Brothers and Mark Heimermann (dcTalk, TobyMac, Michael W. Smith). Thanks to a pre-sale campaign on the band’s current co-headlining Winter Jam tour, fans can advance purchase Born Again for only $7 and until the June release date, each fan receives a 5-song EP along with a chance to get the full CD autographed by the band. The campaign has been a successful since the tour kicked off the beginning of January.
“All of us at inpop records are thrilled for the upcoming release of the brand new newsboys music,” exclaims John Kelly, CEO, inpop records. “It’s also been exciting to hear the buzz from the fans at Winter Jam purchasing the 5-song EP. We are proud to be their record label and are truly looking forward to a great year from this stellar band.”
The songs on Born Again were penned by newsboys, The Write Brothers, and Steve Taylor, including a new track by Mark Stuart (Audio Adrenaline). Living out the album’s moniker, thanks to “On Your Knees,” the worshipful “We Remember” and the group’s first two radio singles, “I’ll Be” and “Born Again,” both shipping February 12th to AC and CHR radio respectively, each song showcases what is noticeably different about newsboys today: story-led tunes with melodies coupled with more distinguishable piano and guitar performances.
Already a live highlight at their concerts, “Born Again” is where newsboys truly become a band renewed, and they collectively view the song as representative of everything the band has gone through this past year. “We’ve all believed in lies at some point,” Tait says, emoting his testimony. “I had some prodigal years in the past, but I hope the song encourages others to make the same decision I did: I’m giving Him the best of everything that’s left of the life inside this man / I’ve been born again.”
“Born Again” is also the project’s first music video and the perfect match to share footage of newsboys building houses in Mexico’s poverty stricken Baja Peninsula. The video, which can be viewed on the homepage of www.newsboys.com, has already seen by thousands thanks to its airing during newsboys Winter Jam set, is already impacting concertgoers on how they can do something for those less fortunate. For years the band has been serving the people in this Third World setting constructing hundreds of homes, and plans are underway to invite fans there this summer for ministry efforts. Details will be announced as soon as they are available.
Penned with longtime newsboys collaborator Steve Taylor, “Boys Light Up” is a biographical anthem of reignited belief and purpose for the band: I was feeling all overcome / Had a faith gone dim and then some / Got a call from a band of brothers . . . / All the doubters I heard them say “now the band’s gonna fade away” / But the ‘boys are back for a second act / No excuses. We’re lighting fuses.
“It’s a common theme running through newsboys,” Phillips says of the ultra-rhythmic cut with a chorus that declares: When the boys light up you know Who gets the praise, Who owns the show. “It’s like a new version of ‘Shine,’ another song of encouragement.”
With the band’s efforts to connect with their audiences of all ages, through meet and greets to social media aspects, Phillips states, “It helps us gauge the pulse of where our fans are at and what they’re going through, and I hope they feel a sense of greater reconnection that the band is trying to make.”
In all, newsboys view this new collection of songs as representative of everything the band has gone through this past year. They are truly Born Again.
Born Again EP Track Listing:
1. Born Again
2. On your Knees
3. When The Boy’s Light Up
4. I’ll Be (first single )
5. One Shot
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