Remixes aren't all that new to the Newsboys. Before the release of their 1998 album Step Up to the Microphone, the Entertaining Angels Maxi-Single featured 2 remixes, for "Shine" and "Not Ashamed." In 1999, with the release of LoveLibertyDisco, preorder bonus CDs included extended techno remixes of "A Beautiful Sound" and "Love Liberty Disco." In 2000, included on their Shine-The Hits collection, was a "Mega Mix" which melded all of their greatest hits into one long song. In 2002, a preorder disc for Thrive also included some cool remixes. So it shouldn't come as a surprise that later in 2002, the band released their first full-length remix project appropriately entitled Newsboys Remixed.
Remixes usually come in three different formats. You can have the completely redone remix, where the lyrics and song structure are relatively the same but the instrumentation is altered. You can also have the extreme where the song is given a completely electronic enhancement, extending the song by several minutes and rendering it almost unrecognizable. Lastly, you can have a happy medium between the two. Newsboys Remixed offers a variety of these choices. The project opens with a completely electronic revamped "It Is You." Beefed up to a 7 minute version, the party gets started as fans look forward to an electronic-laced collection of souped up Newsboys songs. For the fan of the extended techno remixes, most of the project will be ear candy. To the fan of song remixes that still hold true to their original concepts, prepare to be relatively disappointed. "Joy (Let's Be Frank Mix)" continues what was started with its 6 and a half minute rendition remixed by Newsboy keyboardist Jeff Frankenstein, himself. "Joy" holds a little more form of an actual song than "It Is You" does, but doesn't really get started for nearly four minutes into the song. "Lord (Father B. Mix)," a mix from guitarist Jody Davis, is a highlight on the project as the 4 minute remix stays true to the song for the most part. The electronic backdrops are minimalized on "Lord" and features some uniquely used samples to enhance the track.
"Million Pieces (A Million and One Mix)" is given a complete facelift with a hip hop beat and an industrial overtone. "Beautiful Sound (Below the Radar Mix)," much like "Lord," is given worthy treatment as merely an electronic rendition. "Thrive (Is That James Dancing? Mix)" is another offering from Frankenstein. A funky and upbeat remix, but seemingly a little odd considering the more melancholic nature of the original song and its lyrics. "Good Stuff (NYC Mix)" wrecks the original version as it completely obliterates almost any recognizable traits of the version fans know and love. Mostly samples, it's surprising they included this one on the record. "Fad of the Land (Lounge Mix)" has a slight 80's feel with a guitar riff that feels pulled right from the era. The only problem with the track is the inclusion of a sample during the chorus which is more irritating than anything, ruining what otherwise is a great song. "Enertaining Angels (O2R Mix)" holds true to the original mix as well as "Shine (Y2250F Mix)," both of which originally appeared on the Entertaining Angels Maxi-Single. "Love Liberty Disco (All Mixed Up)" is a mediocre mix that originally appeared on the preorder disc for the album in 1999. The downfall of the track is a monotonous voice repeating the song's title beneath a bed of electronic dance beats. The song remixes finish with "Rescue (Helmet Mix)," a fun dance rendition of the upbeat track from Thrive. The album closes with the hits montage "Mega Mix" which originally appeared on their 2000 release, Shine-The Hits.
Newsboys Remixed is for the Newsboys fan with a hankering for techno and dance beats. If you're looking for a freshening of your old favorites or just a new take on some new favorites, you'll not want to miss Newsboys Remixed.- Review date: 9/21/02, written by John DiBiase
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