Christian rock band
Where we're led all the living dead
Wanna leave their zombie mob.
It's a touching scene where they all come clean—
God help us, we just love our job!
"Wherever We Go" from GO
of Aussie origin, formed in 1985, and originally called "The News". Migrated to the US in 1987, changing their name to The Newsboys. Survived in obscurity until 1994, when a song called "Shine" suddenly caught on, catapulting them to the forefront of Christian popular music.
Their music is pretty much everywhere on Christian radio, though songs with less of a "pop" sound don't get much play. Their style can be anywhere from pop rock, to slow ballads, to dance, to disco (especially Love, Liberty, Disco
, natch). Their lyrics are usually overtly religious themes mixed in with wordplay and weird imagery. A few songs have whistling. (because "this here knows whistles make for better mixes.")
The Newsboys have changed their lineup quite a few times over the years: the only original member is frontman Peter Furler, who decided in 2009 to stop touring with the band - though he's still writing their songs and producing their CDs. Current members include Duncan Phillips (percussion), Jody Davis (lead guitar, backup vocals), Jeff Frankenstein (keyboards, backup vocals), and Michael Tait (formerly of dcTalk, lead vocals). They've been produced by Steve Taylor
since their album Going Public,
which is when the band's fortunes really started to take off. Probably not a coincidence, considering that Taylor has been involved heavily in writing the band's lyrics and mixing their songs.
They and Their Work Provide Examples of These Tropes:
- Audience Participation Song: The audience sings at least one chorus to "Shine" and "Breakfast" - and throws boxes of Cap'n Crunch onstage for the latter.
- Bald of Awesome: Peter Furler.
- Belly of the Whale: Actually made a song about the UR Example of this trope; Jonah and the Whale. Heck, the song even shares the trope's name.
- Book Ends: "Breathe (Benediction)" at the end of Take Me to Your Leader is a much softer take on "Breathe" from earlier in the album.
- BSOD Song: "Lost the Plot".
- Christian Rock: Obviously.
- Disappeared Dad: The subject of "Always"
- Downer Ending: While "Elle G." on Going Public ends with the phrase "I know that You will overcome evil... for good", it's still about a girl who committed suicide.
- Due to the Dead: "Breakfast" is about Breakfast Clubbers who scatter their friend's ashes in a cereal bowl and reminisce about how godly he was in life.
- Everything's Better with Spinning: During the Step Up To The Microphone tour, two drummers would perform from a platform that raised up in the middle of the crowd and then tilted at 45 degrees and spun. They brought it back for the Go tour.
- Everything's Funkier with Disco: They're normally a Christian pop rock band, but they also did a disco-inspired album:Love Liberty Disco
- Flash Back: The first two verses of "The Way We Roll" tell the story of the band's early years.
Out hockin' our shirts for more lights
Till "Shine" hit the brights
And we saw your faces
And we got new bassists!
- God-Is-Love Songs: Averted, mostly.
- Greatest Hits Album: Shine: The Hits, The Greatest Hits, and The Ultimate Collection.
- Grief Song: "Elle G."
- Happy Rain: "Let It Rain"
- Hurricane of Puns: "Take Me To Your Leader"
- Least Rhymable Word:
"What rhymes with 'Cornelius'? (Helium!)"
- Lyrical Shoehorn: All. The. Time. "Live in Stereo" in particular.
- Money Song: Subverted in "Fad of the Land".
- Mundane Made Awesome: "I Fought the La". The lyrics explain that the writer couldn't come up with any words to go with his awesome riff, so the chorus is just a lot of "la"s, sung as if it's the greatest song ever.
- New Sound Album: Programmed rhythm tracks played a huge part in the band's early sound. Then came Take Me to Your Leader, on which the band avoided using them entirely.
- Love Liberty Disco, with its intentionally retro sound, was noticeably Lighter and Softer than their earlier work.
- Their two worship albums, Adoration and Devotion, were also Lighter and Softer than the sound they were known for.
- Piss Take Rap: Steve Taylor contributes a few of these on Not Ashamed. Furler sort of does this in the verses of "Your Love Is Better than Life".
- The Power of Rock: According to "Wherever We Go", Newsboys music improves stock markets, reduces crime, and repairs the ozone layer, among other things.
- Retraux: The 50's sci fi album art for Take Me To Your Leader, and the 70s style music of Love, Liberty, Disco.
- Revolving Door Band: Over the years, they've had three lead vocalists, four bassists, two keyboard players, two drummers, and a small army of guitarists. A few members have played more than one of these roles, and their current guitarist is also one of their former guitarists. (The earlier quote from "The Way We Roll" lampshades this concerning the bassists.) Peter Furler started out as their drummer, and became their most iconic singer. He was the last of the founding members to depart, in 2009.
- Rhyming with Itself: The homophone version, from "Lost the Plot":
Gone with the free-range sheep
While the big birds sharpen their claws
For a time we stuck with the Shepherd
But You wouldn't play Santa Claus
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: "Lights Out" is a rebuttal to Christians who take this attitude, hoping the End Times will occur soon.
- Signature Song: Even Michael Tait knows well not to end a concert without "Shine" and "Breakfast."
- Soprano and Gravel: Compare Tait to Furler or James. They sound nothing alike, to the point where an old Newsboys fan unaware of the lineup change probably wouldn't recognize them at all. (A slight variation on the trope since Tait never actually sang on a Newsboys recording with either of the other guys.)
- Stealth Pun: The song "Elle G." can be considered an elegy (which The Other Wiki defines as "a mournful, melancholic or plaintive poem, especially a funeral song or a lament for the dead").
- Step Up to the Microphone: Pete Furler's promotion from drummer to lead singer is the Trope Namer. Phil Joel also sang lead on a handful of songs during his tenure with the band.
- Subverted Rhyme Every Occasion: Used a few times, most notably:
That would make a bouncer take ballet
Even bouncers who aren't... happy
- Mind you, with the accent "ballet" and "happy" are near-rhymes.
- Wait, what was the subverted rhyme that I've apparently been missing all these years? ...Oh.
- Take That: The rap verse in "Boycott Hell" (which isn't in the original DeGarmo & Key version) offers one to the very song they're covering.
See, I agree we oughta boycott hell
But we oughta boycott dumb lyrics as well.
- A Wild Rapper Appears: Steve Taylor in "Boycott Hell" and Toby Mac in "God Is Not a Secret 2000". Both seem to come out of nowhere if you're accustomed to the original versions.