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SHINE (2000)
Shine: The Hits - Click to view! Recovering from a blow caused by the release of their horrendous Love Liberty Disco, the Newsboys decided to steady themselves by jumping on the greatest hits bandwagon. Thus, Shine: The Hits was born, which features the best of the boys down under. For any skeptics out there, don't worry. This album is fairly safe to buy, as it contains NO Love Liberty Disco tracks whatsoever. Do these guys listen to their fans or what?

Shine contains so much new material that you could even make a totally separate EP from it. In addition to the remix version of "Shine," also known as "Shine 2000," there are three previously unreleased songs, a rapcore version of "God Is Not A Secret" featuring Toby Mac and DJ Maj, and the infamous "Newsboys Mega-Mix," featuring nearly every song from Shine compiled into a dance club-like mix. While hearing Toby Mac collaborate with the Newsboys is worth the price of the album alone, the new recordings are interesting in themselves. "Joy" harkens back to the Take Me To Your Leader days with solid guitar work but falls short of becoming a notable rocker for its peppy, poppy chorus that sounds like a Love Liberty Disco reject. "Praises" on the other hand, is noteworthy for its poetic lyrical content: "In the quiet / I lament / every nail, my sin did buy / and I wonder / why you spent / lavish blood on such as I / when all I have / all I have is praises..." The musical quality of the song isn't bad either, but of note is that the chords in the intro are the same as that of "Rescue" from their Thrive album. Finally, "Who?" sums up exactly who Jesus is to the band in a carnival of keyboards and programming work. Any guitar possibilities here are drowned out by the other instruments, and they lyrics are a tad goofy, but it's a welcome let-down compared to anything off of LLD.

Of course all of your old favorites are here too. Who can forget the wonderfully syncopated whistling of "Breakfast," or the overpowering drum loops of "Spirit Thing"? For vintage Newsboys fans, "Not Ashamed," "I Got Your Number," and "Where You Belong / Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus" can be found here as well. For many listeners, it will be the first time they've ever heard these songs. Finally, some more current material from Step Up to the Microphone was thrown in, including, but not limited to, the title track, "Woo-Hoo," and "Entertaining Angels." Oh yeah, and there's "Shine" (big fat duh).

Shine: The Hits is all you could ask for from a greatest hits album. The absence of anything Love Liberty Disco is a beneficial surprise, and anyone with a desire to relive the glory days of Newsboys past will appreciate this album. The new songs and remixes are a nice touch as well. Now if only we could dig up some cheerleaders to come up with a routine for the Mega-Mix...
- Rick Foux
April 2002
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