In the Hands of God
Due tribute goes to the Newsboys for their final project with creative mastermind Peter Furler at the helm — In the Hands of God is one of their strongest efforts, fully deserving of any number of superlatives from "richest" to "most fun" to "best in years." Shortly before the album's release, Inpop Records announced that Furler would step down as the band's lead vocalist and would be replaced by former dc Talk member Michael Tait. Knowing that the move was imminent made this album critical, as the band knew this would be, for all intents and purposes, the punctuation mark at the end of Furler's prolific legacy. It's insufficient to call In the Hands of God a "return to form" when their last album, 2006's Go, was another career-shaper for the boys from down under. But where Go stuck with a dancehall flavor throughout, In the Hands of God is first and foremost a rock record. Album opener "The Way We Roll" is a groovy autobiographical tale of their early career days "crisscrossing the States" and making a name for themselves. "No Grave" takes on a heavier tone, resembling the forceful rock of Three Days Grace. The title track became the Newsboys' 25th number one single, a feat in itself. Other tracks — "Dance," "The Upside," and "This Is Your Life" — preserve the band's lighthearted fare. While Furler's departure is notable, it's safe to say that he left on a high note with this album, and also that the band appears to be in exceptionally good hands moving forward.