Newsboys Exercise Playlist

The Newsboys are probably my most favoritest Christian band ever. They are certainly my favorite band to play when I’m exercising. If I were to describe their music in 3 words, I’d say it’s happy, fun, and infectious. Their pop-rock rhythm doesn’t hurt either. (Let me clarify one thing: when I say “Newsboys,” I am referring to the pre-Michael Tait years. Nothing against Michael Tait, I love this new line-up almost as much as the original, but, to me, it’s not really the Newsboys anymore. It’s a new band with a new sound – and I grew up on Peter Furler and John James.)

My Newsboys exercise playlist includes 21 of their best tracks – set to shuffle, it’s almost 80 minutes of pure fun and energy. Crank it up!

  • Beautiful Sound (The title says it all.)
  • Belly of the Whale (Listen carefully to this one – the wordplay is clever and fast.)
  • Breakfast (Another clever song, this fun tune is about my favorite meal of the day.)
  • Entertaining Angels (A bit slower than most of the songs on this list and featuring a vocal solo by guitarist Phil Joel, this one is achingly beautiful.)
  • Good Stuff (The only song on this list that’s not on the Newsboys Ultimate Collection set.)
  • He Reigns (Catchy and fun to sing along to; Newsboys at their finest.)
  • I Fought the La. . . (Hilarious and goofy – but with real meaning behind the crazy lyrics.)
  • I’m Not Ashamed (Every Christian should listen to this song, believe it, and live it.)
  • It Is You (Another slow one, but still an awesome song.)
  • Joy (Absolutely my favoritest Newsboys song ever!)
  • Love Liberty Disco (A celebration of the freedom and love found in being part of the family of God.)
  • Million Pieces (Little kids love to sing along to this one.)
  • Shine (Quintessential Newsboys; possibly their most famous song.)
  • Something Beautiful (The rhythm hooks you, the lyrics hold you.)
  • Spirit Thing (Masters of wordplay, this is another example of the Newsboys’ unsurpassed cleverness.)
  • Step Up to the Microphone (Boldly proclaims what we believe.)
  • Take Me to Your Leader (Perhaps their cleverest and definitely their fastest-sung song of all – listen close.)
  • Wherever We Go (Party song to end all party songs.)
  • Who? (A definitive statement of faith set to an unbeatable rock track.)
  • Woohoo (You have to sing along to this one.)
  • You Are My King (A slower-tempo love song to the One who loved us first.)

P.S. This is also a great soundtrack for cleaning day. Enjoy!

Music Genres for My Brother

music genres

My brother and I were talking the other day about music – our favorite singers and genres and more specifically, how to distinguish between genres. When our dad was my age, musical styles were both fewer and more distinct. Every artist stayed strictly in their lane. Today there seem to be more and more music genres with more and more overlap. For instance, most modern country songs resemble rock and roll as much as or more than traditional country. And Southern rock, while it has “rock” in its name, is about equal parts country and classic rock. And modern pop draws heavily on rap and hip-hop. This annoys my brother to no end – he is the type of personality that needs to know where each piece fits in the grand design. So, my big little brother, this one is for you.

If we disregard classical and instrumental pieces, music genres can be grouped into 5 broad categories. First, let’s talk about the easiest and most difficult category to define: Christian Music. Lyrically, these songs are all similar in that they deal with Christian ideas and themes. But musically, they range from old-fashioned hymns to pop tunes to rock and rap styles. So if you want to listen to Christian music, you then have to choose between a wide range of musical styles that fit underneath that umbrella.

Our next category is defined by an era and I call it Retro Music. This includes any type of music popular after the invention of recorded music that is no longer a big deal. There may still be artists producing these genres but they are not mainstream. Swing, big band, easy listening, boogie-woogie, jazz, ragtime, etc. Think of big-name singers from days gone by: Frank Sinatra, Duke Ellington, the Andrews Sisters, Louis Armstrong, Bing Crosby, and other famous singers of the 20’s, 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s. Personally, I am not nearly as familiar with these great artists or music genres as I would like to be.

The third sector of musical styles is the very broadly-defined Pop Music. Subheadings under this category would include dance, electronic, and bubblegum pop. This is probably the easiest genre of all – any song that is popular and doesn’t fit anywhere else belongs here. Restrictions are loose, with no particular sound or style. Pop Music draws inspiration from whichever genre happens to currently be most popular.

Category number four is the one I listen to the least and which I have dubbed Urban Music. I suppose it’s my country-girl bias, but I ascribe the genres in this category to city-dwellers. It may not be an entirely accurate way of viewing music and a musician would probably cringe at my definition, but it helps me keep things straight in my mind. Hip-hop, rap, modern R&B, reggae, disco, heavy metal (particularly what’s termed thrash metal), and punk rock are some of the genres I list under the Urban heading. I don’t know much about this category, but unlike Retro Music, I have no desire to become better acquainted with the music of the Urban category.

As opposed to our previous genre group, our final entry tends to be the territory of country folks. I call it Americana Music: folk, Western, country, outlaw, bluegrass, Cajun and zydeco, blues, soul, Southern rock, and rock and roll. This is my musical world and my brother’s as well; the music we both love best is all included in these music genres. Each genre overlaps the next, making it difficult to ascribe most songs to any one heading. It’s not a stack of boxes, each one neatly holding its assigned artists and songs. It is a meandering pathway, each song a stepping stone to the next. And it is one gloriously beautiful journey.