195. Love Liberty Disco – Newsboys

LOVE LIBERTY DISCO (1990)

Newsboys

The Newsboys ended the 1990’s with a pseudo-concept album whose conception was more musical than lyrical or thematic. It also finds its way on to many Newsboys fans “most hated” list a well as most beloved. I fall in the latter category, but that is also coming from someone who is not a very big Newsboys fan.

relying heavily on 70’s influences and, yes, disco, to educate the musical palette, the album still sounds like Newsboys, but with more groove and fun. Musically some of the most consistent quality writing and execution, the album followed the hit machine, Step Up to the Microphone and I applaud the band for taking this artistic leap at a time the SUTTM Part 2 could have been an epic best-seller.

LLD is the anti-SUTTM in that it is nor filled with radio radio hits like its predecessor, but rather a collection of 70’s influenced musical delights. But there is also a sense that the band is taking it all very seriously and respectfully.  There is an Oasis-like feel of other-worldly musical experiments that make the “hit makers” appear more like a band than on many other recordings.

There is more Cheap Trick here than Bee Gee’s, and the world is better for it. Beautiful Sound is a great song no matter what band or album. Love Liberty Disco is the most obvious nod to the disco era with the great funky string arrangement and contains some of Furler’s better and more subdued vocals.

The band would follow with a significantly more straight ahead rock effort with “Thrive,” and many fans were happy for that fact. But LLD stands out for its originality and fearless presence. It’s one of the few albums from that era that deserve repeated listening.

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  1. Shawnuel
    January 17, 2011 at 9:05 pm

    Dave

    When I first saw the entry I violently disagreed with you. While I still wouldn’t put it in my own top 500, I actually appreciate many points you make in the review and will probably go back and listen to this album. It was a definite step away from a winning formula (really, SUTTM was a John James-less re-hash of Take me to Your Leader)and they should be applauded for that in an era where taking chances was (and still is, even more so)frowned upon by suits and radio types.

  2. aarjayaitch
    January 17, 2011 at 11:23 pm

    I am a big Newsboys fan and this album definitely falls into the Most Beloved category for me. In fact, though I loved SUTTM when it came out and still appreciate it, LLD is a much greater Newsboys favorite which I return to more often than any other (except maybe Thrive.) The only ting I did not like about it was the illegible hand-written lyrics in the insert…

  3. Tim
    January 18, 2011 at 2:38 pm

    Uhm . . . Something Beautiful is on the 2007 release GO. Maybe you meant to refer to the song Beautiful Sound on the LLD album? That’s the best I can figure.

  4. Tim
    January 18, 2011 at 10:03 pm

    The Newsboys continued to be one of my favorite bands for years due in part to their many, many writing collaboration with the one and only Steve Taylor.

  5. Greenchili
    March 8, 2011 at 11:08 pm

    Never quite got into this album.. but the live version of alot of these songs are good.

  6. DanW
    July 25, 2011 at 9:13 pm

    As a long time NB fan I bought this one when it first came out. It took a little while to get used to but now is one of my favorites. The song “Good Stuff” has to be one of their best all-time songs and is certainly underrated.

  7. Greenchili
    December 10, 2011 at 7:09 am

    Well I do have to give them credit for trying something original and in that respect it’s not a half bad album. However in the “newsboy” world it’s almost like an out of body experience. So once one is able to seperate their mind from other newsboys albums and their sound it can be a pretty decent experience.

    It’d be an interesting experiment to play this album first to anyone who has not heard the newsboys just to see their reaction. 😀

    Going back to SUTTM… I can kinda understand the direction that album took.. They changed lead singers and their primary Lyric writer (Steve Taylor) went on to do other things. So I’m sure that didn’t help. In addition the mixing on the album was horrible.. Whoever did it shoulda been shot.

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