I was browsing iTunes a moment ago when I noticed that the Newsboys had a new album out, so I decided to quickly browse through their newest batch of songs.
I haven’t listened to them in years. My musical tastes don’t really include Christian rock anymore; even if they did, it’s hard to see Michael Tait as a singer for anything other than dc Talk.
So what brought me out of my self-imposed exile?
I noticed one of the tracks on the Newsboys’ new album: “Jesus Freak.”
That’s right. It’s a re-make of the dc Talk song from the mid-1990s. It’s still got Tait. From what I can tell, it still has the same singing+Toby Mac-style rap combo, only the Mac Attack isn’t in it.
And Kevin Max–who was, without question, the most-talented member of his former trio and a fantastic solo artist at present–is nowhere to be found. Good for Kevin Max.
Because “Jesus Freak” is like Christian music’s Ark of the Covenant.
You don’t touch it.
Now, I don’t want the Newsboys’ faces to melt off, although I am tempted to go all John Piper on them and post “Farewell, Newsboys” on Twitter. (I’d have to reactivate my Twitter account to do it, which should be a good indication of my irritation at the moment.)
I also won’t go on a rant about the general lack of creativity in popular Christian music, but then again, there’s a demand for it and bands and their record labels have to make a living. Besides, it’s not like popular “secular” music is that much better.
(That’s not to say there aren’t creative bands in both areas; you just have to search a little deeper for them, is all.)
I just think re-making “Jesus Freak” is a bad idea. Period. It’s like rebooting the Spider-Man franchise only a few years after the original trilogy finished up. (Oh, wait …)
So sorry, Newsboys, but unless me and my friends decide to hold a bonfire party in which we burn CDs, I’m probably not going to buy your album.