In the same way that it blends multiple words into a cohesive band name, Newworldson blends funk, soul, and multiple other genres to make a pretty decent mixture of music. You may recognize their song "There is a Way" (from their previous album, Newworldson), which attracted some listeners to their sometimes radio-friendly sound. The group is back with a new offering that hopes to gain the band more popularity as they grow in their career. After a few listens, however, it's uncertain that the latest offering, Rebel Transmission, will get them there.
The first song, "Radio Ghost Town," has no introduction and immediately starts with what seems like a chorus. Frankly, this is difficult to understand, unexpected, and awkward. The song itself has a few high points, but the awkward start derails the rest of the song. Moving along, we finally get to what Newworldson has been known for - upbeat, lively music. "Homeless Child" is a superb track, mashing quality lyrics and big band style music. Multiple tracks share a similar musical theme, including the creatively-titled "5, 6, 7, 8", "Son of Man", and the final track, "Shake Holy Spirit."
The obvious standout of the album is "Learning to Be the Light," which has gained frequent radio play and deservedly so. Although it doesn't capture the full variety of music the band plays, it is a fantastic track and a job well-done by the band.
The rest of Rebel Transmission itself is fairly average. "Old Time Religion" is full of uplifting lyrics, but is undone by the lackluster music that backs them up. "Today" and "Southern Cross" are slow tracks that are lyrically and musically middle-of-the-road, and "Sweet Grace" and "Selah" are upbeat piano tunes that fit well with the overall structure of the album.
All in all, Rebel Transmission is a solid offering if a listener likes mainstream Christian radio. It combines different elements of music with God-centered lyrics to make a safe, comfortable experience. Some listeners, like me however, may be left slightly disappointed because the overall quality of the album does not live up to the expectations set by "Learning to Be the Light."
- Review date: 4/30/12, written by Jake Underwood of Jesusfreakhideout.com