He Holds the Keys was an impressive follow up to Steve Green's 1984 self-titled solo debut. Producer Greg Nelson returned with a similar strategy of supplementing Green's powerful tenor with sweeping string and keyboard arrangements (provided by Shane Keister, David Innis and the Nashville String Machine) and enthusiastic (primarily female) background singers. But there is an improvement here both in the depth of the arrangements, which are more intricately layered, and the songwriting. The exuberant melodies are more memorable and tuneful this time out, ranging from the stridently melodious opener "Praise to the King" to the catchy twinkliness of "That's Where the Joy Comes From" and the powerfully worshipful "When His Kingdom Comes." The record features compositions by some of Christian Contemporary Music's most prominent songsmiths, including Michael W. Smith, David Meece, and Gloria Gaither. The challenge with Green's brand of impassioned praise music is to capture the effusive, joyful heart of his vocals without allowing his cup to run over into irredeemably sentimental pomposity. He Holds the Keys strikes this precarious balance with admirable dexterity, making every effort to ensure that Green's fans derive as much joy from listening to the record as Green obviously derived from recording it.
AllMusic Review by Evan Cater