Peter Furler was born in McLaren Vale, South Australia, the third of six kids of missionaries. He is best known for his time as lead singer and drummer of The Newsboys. His last album with them was 2009’s IN THE HANDS OF GOD. He put out a great solo CD in 2011 called ON FIRE. His latest venture is the Peter Furler Band. Joining Peter are drummer Jeff Irizarry and guitarist Dave Ghazarian. The latter has played guitar for Church of Rhythm, Rebecca St. James, Superchick, and Audio Adrenaline, as well as releasing some jazz recordings. The debut project from Peter Furler Band is SUN AND SHIELD (2014).
The title track was written by Peter Furler, Steve Taylor, John Mark Painter, and Jimmy Abegg. It is a decidedly Christian pop song that points to God as our sure aid: “The future’s an open window/Set in cornerstone/Wash off the ash/Raise up the banner/This your true home/I lift up my eyes/Turn to the sun/This is where my help’s coming from/In the heights or the battle/My sun, my shield”. ‘So High’ is a Christian dance song that declares God’s goodness: “You set my feet on a rock/You make my footsteps firm/You lift my spirit high/So high/The songs You bring to life/Forever testify/I want to lift You high/So high”.
‘Dare I Say’ falls more into the rock music category and addresses the devil: “I know there’s a target on my back/And you’re ready to attack/But there’s something that you lack/You’re gonna miss me/I know you got nothing up your sleeve/So go back to where you came/It don’t matter where you aim/You’re gonna miss me/Dare I say/All your tunes have a hollow ring/Dare I say/You can’t sell ‘em/If the bird don’t sing”. ‘Shame’ uniquely addresses something many people struggle with: “I’ve kept my friends close/But you’re still the closer/You took all my faith/Took my name/This is my last ditch attempt to escape you/Cause I’ve dug up nothing but/Shame/After everyone’s long gone/Shame/You stay/Oh shame/You’re still holding my hand/But shame, you stain”.
‘Yeshua’ was penned by Peter and his lovely wife Summer. It features her father, Christian music legend Mylon Le Fevre, which is a real treat! This song of reverence begins quietly but builds: “We worship You in spirit and in truth/For all You’ve done/And all You’ll do/We worship You with gratitude/For all You’ve done/And all You’ll do/Holy, holy, holy/Yeshua/Holy, holy, holy”. ‘The Overcomer’ is a passionate modern rock song of great optimism: “It’ll all be made new/As we glorify You/And we’ll sing as one/You have overcome/In this world we know the labor pain is not in vain/So take heart, don’t be afraid/This world’s gonna be reborn/Sunday’s coming, we’re getting warm/Here between heaven and the perfect storm/You are the overcomer”.
‘It’s Alright (For Lazarus)’ is a ballad that finds Jesus speaking to his dear New Testament friend: “It’s alright/You can open your eyes now/And through the shroud/Hear My Voice/Over the crowd/This is not for you/But if you knew/All it will signify/You’d know why/I cry, I cry/And when it’s time to leave again/You’ll be more than ready to/Cause this time when you leave, my friend/I’ll be there to welcome you”. ‘Right Wrong Girl’ is a love song with unique lyrics: “She cannot be pressured/Her favors aren’t curried/She’ll hold out for better/And will not be hurried/She’s the right wrong girl/How I love her/She’s like no other/Like no girl ever/How’d I get her?/.../I’m in love with the girl/My Georgia girl/My right wrong girl”.
‘The High Road’ is a light pop song that portrays life as a journey we all take: “Pack light for the pilgrim way/Good shoes, the right canteen/Any extra bag will drag you down/Some run by on a victory lap/Some get lost and curse the map/Some give up and circle back around/When the high road calls out/To the crippled and the blind/If you seek with all your heart/You will find”. The last song, ‘We Won’t Forget’, reflects quietly with gratitude on Jesus’ sacrifice for us: “We won’t forget (2X)/We will remember the price that you paid/We won’t forget (2X)/With no regret, with no regret/You gave Your life as a sacrifice/We won’t forget, we won’t forget/Though we grieve, we won’t despair/We’re still breathing freedom’s air”.
It is nice to hear Peter Furler’s voice on some new Contemporary Christian songs. His voice is still in fine form. Unfortunately though, the album suffers from some pacing problems, and honestly only a few of the songs really stand out as above average. This album is not as strong and catchy as Furler’s work with the Newsboys. The album is on the short side, clocking in at 34 minutes and 8 seconds. Perhaps this album will grow on me. I’m rating it 83%. For more info visit: www.peterfurler.com.