Go is a revolutionary achievement for a band that has spent the better part of two decades carving out a niche for dance-oriented contemporary Christian rock. The pioneers of pulse present a new set of high-production beats with glossy guitars and synth work. The collection was inspired by the band's concerts in Europe, Morocco, and Tiberius, Israel, in support of their two worship albums, 2003's Adoration and 2004's Devotion. Frontman Peter Furler found himself writing plenty of new material after unique concerts for diverse crowds in which Buddhists, Muslims, and Jews listened together. The result is not a step back in his lyrical assertions, but quite the opposite: the very heart of Go is an invitation to follow the Great Commission. Much like Switchfoot was able to set one foot in modern rock soil while keeping the other firmly planted on the safe grounds of faith-based worship, Newsboys don't try to hide their ambition for crossover appeal. The sound draws upon synth pop and Euro-dance influences that disappeared with the rise of grunge in the early '90s and returned victoriously over a decade later. Thus, the record sounds much like New Order without the ambiguity, Erasure without the sulking, or Agnes Poetry minus the brooding. "In Wonder" opens with a riff that sounds much like the intro to Duran Duran's "Come Undone." "Secret Kingdom" has a Savage Garden vibe to it. And "Your Love Is Better Than Life" channels the carefree throbbing of Fatboy Slim's "The Rockafeller Skank." The more accessible "I Am Free" made its way onto the popular compilation WoW Hits 2007. Go remains one of the groups' most ambitious works, appealing to both teens and Generation X-ers.
by Jared Johnson