A Million Lights by Michael W. Smith | CD Reviews And Information | NewReleaseToday

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A Million Lights [edit]
by Michael W. Smith | Genre: Pop/Rock | Release Date: February 16, 2018
 

Michael W. Smith has long been known as a bricklayer for the foundation of Christian music. After all, he is a multi-platinum artist and best-selling author as well as the founder for youth outreach center Rocketown-what can't he do? But even someone as successful as Smith has the seldom run-in with writer's block. At the end of 2016, he found himself searching for his voice. He found it just in time to release A Million Lights, a modern twist on his classic style. The goal of this album? To unite a broken audience.




Track Listing
Click here to add a video. Click to add lyrics if not listed.
01. A Million Lights
02. Conversation
03. Something In My Heart
04. Footsteps
05. Your Love
06. Love Always Wins
07. Crashing Waves
08. Louder
09. Revolution
10. Hey Love
11. You Make Me Feel This Way
12. Forgive
13. Who You Are

Entry last edited by NRTeamAdmin on 02.23.18


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A Modern Twist From a Classic Artist | Posted February 23, 2018
Michael W. Smith has long been known as a bricklayer for the foundation of Christian music. After all, he is a multi-platinum artist and best-selling author as well as the founder for youth outreach center Rocketown-what can't he do? But even someone as successful as Smith has the seldom run-in with writer's block. At the end of 2016, he found himself searching for his voice. He found it just in time to release A Million Lights, a modern twist on his classic style. The goal of this album? To unite a broken audience.

He successfully finds the common ground in the title track "A Million Lights:" "For You, all the stars are singing / With You, every day I'm feeling alive." The song is centered around a synth backbeat that is subtle but catchy. Smith recently released a video for the song, illuminated by blue lighting and featuring an outer-space world in which the singer explores the galaxy. He admits to being a big fan of Sci-Fi, so it's no surprise that he drew inspiration from films like Star Wars and Lost In Space

My favorite track on the album by far is "Conversation." As Smith says, "In the age of social media, people have forgotten how to talk with one another, to be civil. If you put these same people in a room together, what was once an agenda becomes a conversation." The album revisits this theme throughout, and the message stands out boldly in this song. It also focuses on Smith's new synth-sound, which fits well on this track. 

When Smith lost his father in November 2015, he explained to his team that he was not going to write another record unless he found something exciting to write about. His standstill only lasted two weeks or so. The world's controversy awoke his creativity, and he seems to describe that in his song "Something In My Heart." He begins the song portraying "endless dreams" and "hesitation," but ends the verse with a line saying "If not for You I never move / You are the spark."

Another thing you may notice is that Smith gives us a glimpse into his own personal struggles in certain songs, including "Crashing Waves" and "Your Love," which describe a time where hope seemed far away. We've all had those times where all you can think about is the past or an unbearable tragedy. The great thing about these times is that hope is always near, as Smith sings in these songs--in "Crashing Waves," he declares "I'll never be the same, you rolled this stone away." He stands his ground on triumphant tracks like "Footsteps" and "Love Always Wins," songs that seem to say "I'm back and better than ever!" while also echoing truth we all need to hear. For anyone struggling right now, these are tracks to remind you where you come from!

You'll notice that Smith also has a high-profile feature on this album: Jordin Sparks sings along in "Hey Love," a song that is light but full of palpable joy. It describes the everlasting love Jesus has for us, especially powerful in the chorus with lines like "Hey love it's me, I want you like I wanted you back then, I want you more today than I did then." This song stands out, and how could it not with Sparks as a vocal guest?

The Bottom Line: In the end, we should all be grateful that Michael W. Smith found his voice again. A Million Lights is a testament to his ability to write through tough times, whether that be in his family or in the world. A Million Lights is the kind of album you want playing to remind yourself of God's truths, and it's an especially great album to loop in your car. If you can't get enough of this album, more Michael W. Smith is headed your way on February 23rd in the form of a live worship album, Surrounded.

Song to Download Now:
"Conversation" (Get it on iTunes here.)



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New Sound, Same Positive Message | Posted March 13, 2018
A Million Lights is one of two new albums the 60-year-old Contemporary Christian Music legend Michael W. Smith released in February. And the two albums could not be any more different. While Surrounded is a live worship album of originals and covers similar to his other three live worship albums, A Million Lights is an album of all new pop songs. The first nine songs reflect a new sound, leaning on synthesizers and electronic dance beats, giving the album a fresh, modern toe-tapping sound. Think of Michael W. Smith meets Toby Mac. Smith used multi-platinum producer and songwriter Brian Todd and songwriter Kyle Lee to help flesh out his vision for the new songs. Three of the final four songs will sound more familiar to Smith fans. I would have preferred that he continue with the new sound all the way through the album, but I give him a lot of credit for experimenting and taking chances with a more current sound for most of the album. While at first, the new sound was hard to adjust too (as I heard Surrounded first), the songs on A Million Miles grew on me with each repeated listen. So, if the album’s new sound puts you off at first, give it a chance. The theme of the album is on unity and reconciliation in our divided society, so the uplifting lyrics are filled with hope. 
Below are a few comments about each song:
A Million Lights – This song is written by Kyle Lee and Smith and was the album’s first single. The song is musically interesting, opening with piano and building with backing vocals and synths. It is a celebration of God’s creation, as all of the stars are singing for Him.  
Conversation – This song is written by Bryan Todd, Jason Walker and Smith.  The song has an infectious beat and is about bringing reconciliation and unity to the division in our culture. It features a dance beat and hand clap. He wants to talk, and to hear what others are saying.  
Key lyric:
One by one we're separated
What I thought was love just looked like hatred
I've been losing myself trying to prove You wrong
And right now all I know is I can't go on
So I'm stepping across all the lines I've drawn

Something in My Heart – This song is written by Bryan Todd, Jason Walker and Smith. It is likeable musically, featuring upbeat dance music, but it is a little light and repetitive lyrically. If not for God, he would never move. God wakes something in his heart. 
Footsteps – This song is written by Chris Davenport, Jason Walker and Smith. It is immediately likeable with a dance beat and finger snaps. The song is about complete dependence in following God’s guidance in life. Key lyric: But as long as I can see Your footsteps, I'm alright.  
Your Love – This song is written by Kyle Lee and Smith. Style wise this song starts with a more Smith sound and then quickly builds with electronic dance beats. The song is about God’s wonderful endless love. Key lyric:
With trembling hands and an empty breath
You saw the struggle and You cast the nets
You knew me better than I ever knew myself
And now the only thing that's left is Your Love

Love Always Wins – This song is written by Thad Cockrell and Smith. The song opens with synthesized sounds and then builds with electronic drums, hand claps and gang vocal chorus. He sings of a distance between those who disagree and say that the space between them is two wide, but God’s love always wins.
Crashing Waves -  This song is written by Jonathan Jackson and Smith. This song opens with distorted vocals. He is broken, that’s how God found him. It is creative musically with a passionate vocal. The song ends with hope.
Key lyric:
Somebody stole the pain, a thief in the night came.
I'll never be the same, You rolled this stone away
Louder – This song is written by Bryan Todd, Jason Walker and Smith. The song begins with piano and distorted vocals. It is upbeat musically and lyrically encouraging, continuing the overall theme of the album to have open and honest conversation in these divided times.
Revolution – Musically, the pace slows down a bit on this song, with some use of acoustic guitar. The song is about building bridges in a world of hate and fear. There is a good use of high-range backing vocals.
Hey Love – This song is written by Wayne Kirkpatrick and Smith. Musically and lyrically, this song doesn’t fit with the previous nine songs. It is a piano driven love song, featuring the vocals of Jordan Sparks. Their voices blend well, but after the upbeat electronic dance beats, this song sticks out. My least favorite song on the album.
You Make Me Feel This Way – This song is written by Bryan Todd, Jason Walker and Smith. This song opens with acoustic guitar and features some good keyboard work. He sings in a lower register than normal. It is upbeat and joyous with good backing vocals. The lyrics are vague enough that he could be singing to God or to his wife.   
Forgive -  This song is written by Wes King and Smith. This song has more of a traditional Smith sound, a ballad that builds with piano, strings and backing vocals. The song is about someone who left him when he was young, breaking his heart. He is writing to say that he forgives them.  
Who You Are – This song has a slower pace that gradually builds. It features piano, light drums and guitar. The theme is hope and healing of the pain.  
Key lyric:
Give me time
I'll heal the pain you feel
Give me time
I'll show you love that's real  


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