Peter Furler’s “On Fire” – Album review

It’s been two years since Peter Furler vacated his spot as lead singer of the Newsboys. Like many fans, I was unsure of where I would hear good music in the future – so much of it had come from this man’s producing, writing and performing skills.

For me, there are only a handful of great writers, musicians and producers I truly enjoy (as I scroll through my mp3 player): Brian Wilson, T Bone Burnett and Gary Barlow.

Peter Furler is right up with them.

Partnering with Seth Mosley, and some incredible contributions, On Fire is the best album to hit the shelves this year.

His infectious lyrics, drumming and vocal power will immediately show that this is one talented man.

Firmly supported by the top 10 single, “Reach,” the music will hook you from the first drum kick, and will glue itself to your playlist. It’s a fast-paced album that doesn’t ever let go. And what a ride it is.

True to it’s title, every song on the album is upbeat and unrelenting. The bass lines, drum beats and subtle guitar work flow perfectly from track to track. Like much of his previous material, “Reach” follows the line of a grand, powerful and swelling chorus – a perfect Furler track.

“Never Ending Love Song” has an incredible opening with the keyboard, and again follows the high production quality on the album.

“Faster and Louder” echoes of Take That’s “Pretty Things,” with two vocal tracks on its first verse.

“All in Your Head” is destined to be one of the best songs to hear performed live – or sung out loud in the car. Either way, its title tells the truth in that it will become stuck all in your head. Yes kids, it’s OK to turn the volume up to 11 on this one.

“Closer” features the great Steve Taylor in a catchy guest vocal spot on a solid track. Somewhat musically similar to “John Woo” from the album Thrive, the lyrics are goofy, yet hard-hitting.

“Greater is He” might just be the icing on the cake for this entire album. Unlike others where things start to slow down, and the 10th and 11th tracks are somewhat slow, Furler saves the best for last. Guest vocal contributions by Phil Joel and Bill Furler help to round out this track. Clean guitars, drums and a few slick production moves flesh this out.

For the past two years, we’ve seen the Newsboys take on a brand new musical style; one that has resonated strongly with their most recent release. And, in many ways, Furler’s album sounds similar to right where he left off with In The Hands of God. He hasn’t lost a step, and proves that some time off can yield amazing results.

Peter, you’ve outdone yourself with this gift to fans across the world. I hope it’s not the only solo venture we’ll see from you. Your gift is far too great to go underused.

Despite all the great praise I’ve heaped, I just have one little gripe about the album. Lose the autotune on “Psalm 23,” Peter – your voice is perfect.

Listen to a sample of the album tracks here:

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