Newsboys

Live in Concert: God's Not Dead

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The Newsboys will have to be taken at their word that Live in Concert: God's Not Dead was actually recorded during their tour of the same name. Sure, there are the requisite between-song shrieks and applause by the Australian Christian pop group's rabid fans, and the occasional interjection to "put 'em up" (surely they mean the audience's hands) and a bit of an introduction to a few songs. Otherwise, almost every single note and performance on this album have been tweaked and cleaned up and buffed to a point where they are often indistinguishable from the group's studio recordings. And even those moments that clearly were captured in the moment -- the intro to the title track, in particular -- sound overly mannered and too rehearsed. This all isn't meant to discredit the rockers in any way. Because as a collection of some of the group's most recent efforts, including a fun cover of dc Talk's "Jesus Freak" and sturdy renditions of "Revelation Song" and "The King Is Coming," it works marvelously. But to market it as anything more than that feels downright disingenuous.

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