In the Hands of God
There’s a bittersweet undercurrent to the Newsboys’ In the Hands of God, despite the largely sunny feel to its tracks. Peter Furler’s announced intention to step down as lead singer makes this album feel like a summation of the veteran Christian band’s previous works. With production guidance from Superchick’s Max Hsu, the Boys veer between the propulsive dance grooves of their recent releases and the cheeky retro-pop of their ‘90s hits. Long-time fans will connect with the joyful camaraderie of “The Way We Roll,” the affirmative spirit of “This Is Your Life” and the unrestrained reverence of “Glorious.” The Beatles-like string embellishment on the buoyant “Upside” adds some freshness to the track, and even better are “My Friend Jesus” (a goofy yet God-centered ditty co-written with old pal Steve Taylor) and “RSL 1984” (a nostalgic tune filled with images of the band’s Australian homeland). The album’s title track is a strong statement of the Newsboys’ continuing ministry in a period of transition. In the Hands of God allows Furler to exit the spotlight with his faith and freewheeling humor intact.