Peter Andrew Furler was born on September 8, 1966 in McLaren Vale, South Australia. He is the third of six children of missionary parents. He was also the founding drummer of the Newsboys. They put out their first album, READ ALL ABOUT IT, in 1988. When singer John James left the group in 1997, Furler took on lead vocal duties. His voice carried such hits as ‘Million Pieces’, ‘He Reigns’, ‘Something Beautiful’, and ‘In the Hands of God’. In 2009 he stunned fans by leaving the group. He resurfaced in 2011 with his solo debut ON FIRE (Sparrow Records).
‘I’m Alive’, one of five songs where Steve Taylor is a co-writer, is an infectious dance/pop song that tells of how God is able to revive us: “Out there alone and left to die/Cut off from You, my sole supply/You shed Your tears for me and then/You took my hand and raised me high/I’m alive, I’m on fire/And my spirit burns with desire/You set me alight, bright-eyed/And with no way to hold it inside/I wanted to thank You/Thank You, thank You.” ‘Reach’, written by Seth Mosley, Juan Otero, and Andrew Fromm, is a great pop song with an uplifting message: “So many people in this world/But I hear You calling out my name/You reach for me/Like a Father wipes away the tears/So many people in this world/But I hear You calling out my name/You reach for me/Now I’m never gonna be the same.”
‘Glory to the King’ will have you envisioning the greatness of heaven: “A sea, a sea of voices sing/Glory to the King, the King of everything/You’re here, lift up your hands and sing/Glory to the King, the King of everything/Awake, as shadows lift from every doubt/With nothing more to figure out/And no more tears to dry/Awake, to loved ones you’ve so dearly missed/The sting of death does not exist/There’s no more wondering why.” Peter, Wes Willis, Jason Ingram, and Kevin Huguley wrote ‘Never Ending Love Song’. It is a techno song of praise: “You are the only One who saves/We’ve all been captured by Your grace/We can’t but look upon Your face/And we won’t turn away, no, we can’t turn away/This is the love song that we sing/And it’s never ending/This is the worship that we bring/And it’s unrelenting.”
‘Matter of Faith’ has a sunny sound musically. These words remind us that as believers we live this life by faith and not by sight: “We all know and believe/There’s more than what we see/Eternity is deep inside our hearts/So we watch and wait, until that day/When in a flash this world will pass away/Heaven and earth will kiss each other/The sun will rise and light a brand new day/Every knee will bow unto Your Name/All the saints will shout and sing Your glory/As a matter of fact, it’s a matter of faith/It’s a matter of faith.” ‘All in your Head’ aims to motivate us to action: “And you wait/You save your best for last/And you wait/And then the moment’s passed/Whatcha waiting for?/God’s holding the door for you/Where ya hiding out?/There’s so much more for you.../Get up, get off your seat/Move your feet, just do what He said/It’s all in your head (2X)”.
‘Closer’ features Steve Taylor and Some Other Band, which includes Jimmy Abegg on guitars and John Painter on bass. This song with a cool groove to it, encourages us to be watchful for Christ’s return: “Another plague, another war/And the earth shakes some more/Then we’re back to sleeping late/Somebody’s knockin’/My Lord’s got His foot in the door/Wish we’d all been ready for/Oh, oh, oh, oh, something’s coming (2X)/Oh, oh, oh, oh, don’t you want in?/Oh, oh, oh, oh, something’s coming.” ‘Faster and Louder’ proves that Furler is still young at heart: “Slower and softer it goes/Only your lazy boy knows/It sneaks up behind you like sin/The devil, he just wants your spirit/So long, my soul longs/Fast songs, joyful joyful/I wanna make some noise/I wanna cause a stir/Faster and louder/We know what we know/We won’t take it slowly/Kids let me hear you scream/If you concur/Faster and louder.” Andy Hunter helped with the creative programming on ‘Psalm 23’. The biblical passage here sounds ready for a Christian nightclub.
‘Hold On’ is a song of encouragement: “If you feel you’re at the end/And your light is fading out/The walls are caving in/Remember deep inside of you/There’s a hope beyond the fight/There’s a faith to pull you through/Just believe, I know you’re gonna make it/Don’t let go.” The album ends with the pleasant pop song ‘Greater is He’. It features former Newsboy Phil Joel, and also includes Peter’s dad Bill Furler reading Scripture. The song reminds us that with Christ we can overcome any difficulty we may be facing: “Surrounded by forces too strong for us/Pressed hard on every side/We don’t look to the left or the right for help/It comes from inside/And we don’t fear the flame/We won’t fear our enemies/And we don’t fear what is to come/’Cause the battle’s already been won/Greater is He that is in us/Than He that is in the world (2X)/Christ in us, the hope of glory.”
Peter Furler is married to Mylon LeFevre’s daughter, Summer. Peter thanks “Jesus, perfect in love, light, wisdom, and power” in the album credits. ON FIRE is one of the best Christian pop records of the millennium so far. It is charged with energy and vitality. It sounds like a fresh Newsboys record and should please fans of that group and the new Audio Adrenaline. ON FIRE was produced by Furler and Seth Mosley. I’m rating it 95%. For more info visit: www.peterfurler.com