195. Love Liberty Disco – Newsboys
LOVE LIBERTY DISCO (1990)
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.