Newsboys [In The Hands Of God]
Posted May 26, 2009
To date, Newsboys have sold over 6 million albums, with five gold records and 25 No. 1 radio hits. As already announced on their website, “In the Hands of God “marks lead singer and founding member Peter Furler's final album as the band's lead vocalist and main songwriter. In March, the band announced the new vocalist will be former dc Talk singer Michael Tait. With both bands starting at the same time, Newsboys and dc Talk played over 100 shows together, so the change is a natural fit. Personally, as a collector of Christian music starting in the mid-1990’s, I have every album by both bands and will be interested in the creative direction of the band. Newsboys have truly been a pioneer in Christian music.
The band has undergone many changes from the mid-1990’s to now, most notably with original lead singer John James being replaced by original drummer Peter Furler as lead singer starting with 1998’s “Step Up To The Microphone”, which is one of my top 3 albums by Newsboys. Then, bassist Phil Joel left the band before 2006’s “Go”, which is also one of my top 3 albums by Newsboys, along with 2002’s “Thrive”, which is my favorite album by Newsboys. Guitarist Jody Davis left Newsboys after “Thrive” and was replaced by Bryan Olesen, now the lead singer of the band VOTA and was then replaced by Paul Colman for “Go” before Jody Davis returned for “In The Hands Of God”.
My best description of “In The Hands Of God” is that to me it is the disappointing follow-up to “Go” in the same way I was disappointed in “Devotion” compared to “Adoration”. “The Way We Roll” is the first song and has a nice rock beat, but like most of the songs including “This Is Your Life”, “The Upside” and “Dance”, the lyrics and music didn’t engage me the same as “Go”. There are some highlights to the album, especially the title track “In The Hands Of God”, overall similar to hit song “Something Beautiful”. I also really like “No Grave”, sung in the person of Jesus and having a musical style and chorus that reminded me of “I’m Not Alright” by Sanctus Real. “Glorious” is another Newsboys original worship song but doesn’t match the intensity of “In Wonder” in my opinion. “Lead Me To The Cross” is another Newsboys cover song of the original by Hillsong United, but didn’t impress me as much as “I Am Free”. “My Friend Jesus” and “RSL 1984” are interesting lyrically and give glimpses of Peter Furler’s personal walk, but didn’t grab me musically.
For me, the highlights are “No Grave” and “In The Hands Of God”, however neither song makes my collection of my all-time top 10 songs by Newsboys. Perhaps Newsboys set the bar so high with “Go” I was due for a letdown. Fans will still enjoy the highlights, however I was disappointed overall.
Rating: 8.6 out of 10 (86%, B)
Review written by: Kevin Davis | Review can also be found here.
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