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MORE LIFE (2003)
More Life - Click to view! Think back to the most recent Christmas season: the eggnog, the garland, the mistletoe and one of the most recent and favorite seasonal songs "Christmas Shoes" by NewSong. For that single, they were nominated for a Grammy and even won a Dove award. The song was turned into a book, and then later a movie. But this band is more than a one-hit-wonder, as devoted fans of Christian music have seen over 14 years since their first Gospel Music Association Dove award nomination. And now, three years after the release of The Christmas Shoes, NewSong releases their 15th album, More Life. Ten songs, one band, and true devotion.

I hate to compare anything to the teeny-bop sounds of 80's hit makers New Kids on the Block, but I have to chuckle because the first spin of "Back Where You Belong" had me thinking of that, well not quite "band." The choruses end in a series of "ohh's" that are similar sounding to "Hangin' Tough." The tangent of comparing NewSong to NKOTB, should cease now because the similarities stop there. "Back" is a call for those who are looking for somewhere to turn. They should realize that He will always be there for them if they are willing to admit they need and want him: "If you just believe / then you will see / He's all you need... Back where you belong." It's an upbeat selection that leaves your head bobbing, and even if it does sound like a copious number of pop bands, for a rock loving girl to disclose that it gets stuck in her head, it has to be a good song.

Much of the disk has a modern aspect to it. Cell phones and the morning rush hour are only two of the modern day troubles spoken of in "Life in my Day." Ever feel that you need just a few more hours in a day or days in a week? Actually, according to NewSong, all you need in your life "Is a little more life in my day / A little more of Your life / a little more faith." Then, there are highways in "When Love Broke Through." Ok, so maybe it's in reference to building highways in the sky, but still, a somewhat modern idea.

We go from a modern sounding American song to a Spanish sounding, salsa track. "Emmaus Love" is based on a book Eddie Carswell read that centers around two general ideas: walking around each day and not seeing things through your eyes, but rather His, and that people didn't realize they were with the Savior until they were walking with Him. The latter idea can be summed up in the line "Who is this Man / who walks with them / and explains the mysteries / Could it be that He's the risen One / Come to set them free."

NewSong has a lot to say and they express themselves well on More Life. Besides that one little glitch of sounding like a pop band, this is another CD by NewSong that is sure to garner much praise and fanfare. Only one song ("It's Not Far") truly conjures up images sound wise of that new Christmas favorite, but the whole album should boost them back into the spotlight; maybe not the secular or mainstream spotlight, but at least the Christian spotlight.
- Ashley Nier
February 2004
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