Peter Furler "On Fire"
by Kevin Thorson ( on 2011-06-04 20:07:16

Peter Furler is one of the most successful and recognizable names in Christian music. With twenty years of touring, twenty-five #1 hits, and over seven million albums sold, the long time Newsboy frontman decided to step down and simplify his life.

Now Peter Furler is back with his debut solo album, "On Fire". Get ready because this is one hot album with very contagious melodies.

A pacing bass drum introduces the first track "I'm Alive" with a chorus celebrating the life and love that God has given us - "I'm alive / I'm on fire / and my spirit burns with desire". The first track sets a pace that carries on through the entire album, and a great opening track.

The Billboard hit single "Reach" is the next track. "Reach" has a very personal feel but with a break out chorus, the first line of which is my favorite - "You reach for me / with a love that quiets all my fears".

Songs four and five are great back to back and have a lot in common, although not musically. Both are unique worship songs giving glory and praise to God with still very catchy lyrics. "Glory to the King" is pretty straight forward musically, while "Never Ending Love Song" is heavy on the synths.

Furler has to be the king of break-out choruses, and I love it. "Matter of Faith" has a gently distorted guitar to start out then hits all out in the chorus and later on. The layered vocals are superb. This song has to be played at it's loudest, it's just that good.

Now keep your stereo cranked up because track six is amazing. "All In Your Head" is a gigantic song. The message of the song is meant to inspire people to get up and move forward and see what God has for them - "forgetting what's behind / now's the time to / go where you're led / it's all in your head / it's all in your head". If this songs doesn't motivate you, nothing will. Definitely my favorite track on the album.

Song seven, "Closer", just transported me back to the 80's. With loads of synths, reverb, and "creative" vocals. "Closer" was obvious a fun song for Furler, but not at the listener's expense. It's still catchy in a quirky way.

"Faster and Louder" opens with a slightly Mario Bros feel to it. As the song moves on, it literally gets faster and louder. The addition of children singing along at some parts is a nice touch and blends well. "Faster and Louder" is a joyful song about being just that.

Picture Peter Furler, techno, auto tune, singing Psalms 23. Interesting, but maybe not too thrilled with Peter's perfect voice being NSYNC'ed on the track "Psalms 23". It doesn't detract from the song, in fact it does fit the feel of it.

The last two tracks take a more serious path, a great way to end a great album, I love the musical elements of "Hold On". A very strong song. "Greater is He" is an upbeat worship song, leaving the album on a high note.

Peter Furler's "On Fire" is a superb album, and hands down the best pop album of 2011. The more I listen to it the more I'm impressed. Furler's twenty years of musical genius is showing and that's why it's such a good album. Incredibly catchy, witty lyrics with an awesome message throughout. Did I mention that musical master Steve Taylor, former Newsboy Phil Joel, and some other notables lent a helping hand? Buy it and you won't be disappointed.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Genre: Pop
Label: EMI
Release Date: June 21, 2011
Buy it: Amazon

1. I'm Alive
2. Reach
3. Glory To The King
4. Never Ending Love Song
5. Matter Of Faith
6. All In Your Head
7. Closer (feat. Steve Taylor And Some Other Band)
8. Faster And Louder
9. Psalm 23
10. Hold On
11. Greater Is He (feat. Phil Joel And Bill Furler)

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