After selling more than 15 million albums, scoring 28 No. 1 hits, earning three GRAMMY® Awards and more than 40 Dove Awards, musical icon Michael W. Smith will open a new chapter in his career on May 13 as he releases Sovereign, his first studio worship album since 2008 and his first album with new label partner Sparrow Records and Capitol Christian Music Group. Sovereign will also be available as a Deluxe Edition, which will include a special DVD concert filmed at Smith's barn in Franklin, Tenn. and will feature guest appearances from Kari Jobe and Leeland Mooring. The DVD will also include special behind the scenes footage and content with Smith discussing the inspiration behind Sovereign.
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Smitty Still A Player in Christian Music| Posted May 12, 2014
Sitting down and trying to pen a brief synopsis of Michael W. Smith's 30+ year career is nearly impossible. After thousands of concerts, three GRAMMYs, over 40 Dove Awards, and a handful of books, movies, and television appearances, what can possibly be said about the man that hasn't already been said by hundreds of writers before me? I abdicate.
This is a case where formality goes out the window, friends. I can only speak to my own opinions, and in this reviewer's eyes, what makes the man dubbed Smitty so interesting is his nearly effortless ability to reinvent his image, while still remaining true to himself and his style. A pioneer in the 80s, an icon in the 90s and a consistent mainstay ever since, Michael makes the job of reinvention look almost too easy, never losing his faithful crowd of listeners along the way.
Coming four years after his last studio effort and just two months after a Cracker Barrel exclusive Hymns project, Sovereign is the latest in Smith's lengthy catalog of musical endeavors.
Lead single "You Won't Let Go" displays the evolution nicely. Contemporary enough to leave radio happy, it still manages to highlight sonic growth and tips the hat to some dominating mainstream trends.
"Miracle" proves that Smitty's vocal chops are tighter than ever, while "Sky Spills Over" pulls from hearty Americana roots and sprinkles in a few catchy electronic elements, making it unexpected ear candy.
Despite his many pop music successes, worship is still what Michael W. Smith is best known for. "You Are The Fire," the prayerful "Christ Be All Around Me" and title track "Sovereign" all play to this strength.
Perhaps the greatest worship moment on the record however, is found in the duet with Kari Jobe titled "The One That Really Matters." It steps away from more corporate sounding worship and draws the listener into holy intimacy with the Creator. Kari's added vocals take this song to another dimension.
Closing Thoughts: Sovereign is a solid musical representation of Michael W. Smith's growth as an artist in the last decade. His trademark vocals and melodies are met with a fresh, melodic youthfulness that will be sure to keep his name in the game for years to come, while his worshipful, ministry minded lyrics steal the show, and showcase his uncanny ability to lead listeners to the throne in surrender.
Song To Download Now:
"You Won't Let Go" (Get it on iTunes here.)
Amazing!| Posted May 20, 2014
First of all, one of the things i appreciate the most about Michael W. Smith is that when he releases special editions of his albums they are released at the same time as the regular album. It's left up to the individual whether they want to pay a couple bucks extra for the additional content, instead of waiting 6 months, a year or even 2 years later to pay more for a repackaged cd. As an avid Smitty fan couldn't resist going for the Deluxe Edition. It's definitely worth the $5 more for the concert video.
Sovereign has a very different feel than all of Michael W. Smith's previous worship offerings. There isn't a live church choir or concert setting, and most of the songs are original, meaning they haven't previously been produced and recorded by someone else. The few that are, haven't been played to death on the radio yet, so it makes this album feel fresher and newer than his previous worship offerings.
While all of Michael's other worship projects averaged 50% original material and 50% previously recorded material, this one contains like 90% new and like only 10% already recorded. Certainly not meaning this as a bad thing, but since the other ones were going for that live church feeling, familiar worship songs were a plus. Some people simply have a hard time learning new songs, so throwing a dozen completely new songs out there to learn on the spot is a bit much. While other people have an ear for music and can pick up a new song before the chorus is over.
You Won't Let Go is one of my favorites as it's based on Romans 38-39 which i remember learning years ago in church and has been a comfort in times when i'm hurting and uncertain of what the future may hold.
I like the catchy almost tinkling bells sound that accompany Sky Spills Over. Soon as i heard the intro knew i'd like the song. The message of hope and inspiration confirms it for me. Definitely another favorite on the album.
Jeremiah 29:11 has been one of my favorite Bible verses, and even though it's not mentioned in the booklet, it's pretty clear where the inspiration for Sovereign Over Us came from. Always thought that verse would be great as a song and well, here it is.
Songs based on the love and sacrifice of Jesus never grow old, and i for see The Same Power and All Arise becoming Easter traditional songs. Songs like these are the much needed reminder that it's because of Him, we are here.
All in all, while Michael's previous worship projects are what drew me to him and his music, i will treasure this new worship offering for it's fresh sounding originality.