Review: Peter Furler – On Fire | Christian Music Zine


Sparrow Records

Released June 21 2011

Reviewed By Tyler Hess

This is weird to me.  “This” being the last couple of years of Peter Furler‘s music career.  When I was a little younger my dad let me buy one album at Jesus Northwest, a now retired Summer festival held in Vancouver, Washington.  The one I picked was completely on a whim and I have no idea why I picked it to this day, but it changed everything for me.  The album was NewsboysGoing Public, a special edition cassette tape that I don’t believe had even hits stores yet.  Furler was the drummer back then, yet he was heavily involved in the song writing even back then.  I became a fan.  Fast Forward a decade and a half or so and look where we are.  The Newsboys sound changed drastically over the years, with band members changing and aging, what became of the band was not what I like to remember about the band, at least musically.  So now that former DC Talk member Michael Tait took over for the boys when Peter Furler stepped down, it is not all that surprising that Furler was jonesing to make music again.  Now is the opportunity to see what was him and what was the band.

When I first heard the album’s first single, Reach, it actually gave me some cautious optimism.  Despite the last few Newsboys albums, I saw some real potential in On Fire and was definitely excited to give it a chance.  Still, I kind of half expected a CCM led flop.  Strangely, I was wrong.  I know, weird, but it happens.  What I’ve found is an album filled with top notch production, a slick and polished sound that leads the listener in worship with an older Newsboys pop rock sound.  Peter Furler’s voice has matured over the years, as have his lyrics through years of seasoning.  Although there are more electronic influences added into the mix than ever, what I hear in On Fire is an album that could have been used as the segue between Step Up To The Microphone (the first Newsboys album to be mostly Peter Furler’s vocals” and Adoration (the first and better worship album from the band).

I will be the first to say that Going Public, Take Me To Your Leader and “Step Up To The Microphone” were the golden years for the band, so to hear something that brings me back to that era is a more than welcome album.  I am surprised to say this, but I can’t believe my own ears, Peter Furler pulled off launching a solo career the same way he pulled off becoming a front man in the first place.

Grade: 4

Tracklisting:

  1. I’m Alive
  2. Reach
  3. Glory To The King
  4. Never Ending Love Song
  5. Matter of Faith
  6. All In Your Head
  7. Closer
  8. Faster and Louder
  9. Psalm 23
  10. Hold On
  11. Greater Is He
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