Tis the season for greatest hits projects! I can't remember the last time they were released in such abundance-- dc Talk, Carman, Bride, All Star United, Plumb, Audio Adrenaline (next spring), and now the Newsboys. Hits projects can be spectacular or complete wastes of disc space. With the Newsboys' Shine - The Hits, the fans are treated more thoughtfully than all the others released so far this year. Not only are 3 brand new songs present, but a special remix of a song as well as the first successful (that I've heard) effort to blend all the hits into one song exists at the close of the album. On top of this, the older tunes are "digitally remastered" and there is a ever-so-slight remix of "Shine."
This remix starts off the collection appropriately (from the 1995 Going Public era) and is more appropriately followed up by the song that made the band, the 1992 hit, "Not Ashamed." Sounding as great as ever, the track is followed up by the 1996 Take Me to Your Leader fan favorite "Breakfast." Two other cuts from the same album directly follow, including "Reality" and the title track. A brand new song, "Joy," a worshipful pop/rock song with the sound and feel of something off their 1998 Step Up to the Microphone album. The song fits well and is definitely "hit" material.
"Entertaining Angels" adequately follows, with another new song, "Praises," stepping up afterwards. Sounding like a modern version of a song you might have found on Not Ashamed, "Praises" is another worshipful song with yet another catchy rhythm. Going Public's "Spirit Thing" follows with "Woohoo" and "Step Up to the Microphone" close behind. Only problem I had there was the consecutiveness of the last 2 songs makes you forget you're listening to their greatest hits and makes you think you have in Step Up to the Microphone, with those songs being the 2 tracks that start off that album. The intriguing and tasty "God Is Not a Secret featuring Toby Mac" is a treat to fans as the pumped up tune gets a boost from dc Talk's own Toby McKeehan. Although completely different from the rest of the collection, I'm glad they included the new version.
The pace is briefly slowed down with wonderful "Where You Belong/Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus" from the Not Ashamed album, before being pushed out of the way by the upbeat new song "Who?." The pop ballad "Believe" precedes the painfully misplaced and only problem on the album, "I Got Your Number," which is a cut from one of their earlier efforts before they were 'transformed' into what you hear today by the genius mind of Steve Taylor. The thought that doesn't leave my mind is why the song "I Cannot Get You Out of My System" was left off and "I Got Your Number" was included. The album closes with the hit montage remix "Mega-Mix" which features excerpts from many of their hits songs blended together creatively with an electronic shell enclosure.
Finally, another reason why to buy the project, while supplies last, is the free limited DVD that comes with it when you purchase the project. The DVD, although not in the highest picture quality, includes all of their live video, Live One Night in Pennsylvania which had been recorded on their Step Up to the Microphone Tour, as well as 4 concept music videos ("Take Me to Your Leader," "Shine," "Entertaining Angels," and "I Cannot Get You Out of My System"). A great collection that is a must for every fan. This time, you'll actually get your money's worth when you buy a greatest hits project...- Review date: 11/6/00, written by John DiBiase
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