Newsboys - In The Hands Of God

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Artist: Newsboys
Album: In the Hands of God
Label: Inpop
Release Date:
Reviewed by: Tyler Hess

Tracklisting:

1. The Way We Roll
2. No Grave
3. This Is Your Life
4. Glorious
5. In The Hands Of God
6. The Upside
7. My Friend Jesus
8. Lead Me To The Cross
9. Dance
10. RSL 1984

Newsboys and I go way back.  We have one of those love/hate relationships, where I love to look back at how great they once were, while they hate living up to those lofty expectations.  They love to make radio friendly singles to relate to the masses of non music lovers, while I hate to accept that they didn’t actually break up in 2001 as the second greatest CCM band of all time (DC Talk‘s Jesus Freak will forever trump that market).  As the years go along, Newsboys become more and more everything they weren’t.  What musical talent they lacked in their early years, they made up for with attitude and lyrical wit.  Now they have come to acquire some talented musicians that make talented, bland music.  Not completely, mind you, In the Hands of God have some hints of their earlier work, but as the album goes along it is quite apparent that they are on the same path as bands like U2.  They are relying on their fame to live for a bigger cause, making “better” music that loses any kind of edge that makes them something special.  Every time they come up with a set of verses that give me some hope, its met with a chorus that could have come from a kid’s pop band to make soccer moms happy.  I just don’t feel like they are relating to the youth like they did 10-15 years ago, when they were writing songs like “Elle G”.  In the Hands of God borrows sounds from all the different Newsboys eras, but replaces the spice with clean radio pop rock.  There is a worship song, a Thrive sounding song, a Step Up to the Microphone sounding song, but they aren’t going to be writing any more songs that cause fans to throw cereal on stage and everything else.  Peter Furler is a better vocalist than he was when singing along side John James while drumming along, but his writing with SteveTaylor has gotten too mature, even for this guy who is getting way too close to 30 to pretend that he has any amount of coolness to him.

Overall: This might make me bop my head to the beat, but it won’t make me lay awake at night, listening, contemplating the songs, relating them to my life like I did over and over again in the late 90’s.

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