Grammy winner serves up Michael W. Smith & Friends: The Spirit of Christmas, featuring Vince Gill, Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town, Martina McBride, Amy Grant, Carrie Underwood, Jennifer Nettles, a very special spoken word contribution from Bono, and Michael McDonald.
"I'm blessed beyond belief," Smith says with a big smile. "Collaboration can be a beautiful thing. And this has been truly beautiful."
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Christmas With Family and Friends| Posted September 15, 2014
Multi-Grammy and Dove award winner Michael W. Smith celebrates Christmas in his newest album The Spirit of Christmas. Ringing in the holiday season with him are some well-known names in Country music, including Lady Antebellum, Carrie Underwood, Little Big Town and Martina McBride.
The album has the feeling of a friends and family TV special. A mixture of newer seasonal hits and traditional carols, on this project Michael W. Smith and friends bring life to the Christmas season. In true Smith fashion, the album includes two instrumental tracks. "The Miracle of Christmas" opens the album and sets the mood for the rest of the listening experience. The other instrumental track is "The Spirit of Christmas," which sounds like a majestic Christmas movie soundtrack. It also divides the album in half, separating the upbeat tracks from the traditional and more reverent offerings. "The Spirit of Christmas" flows wonderfully into "Silent Night" featuring Little Big Town, bringing harmonies perfect for a classic Christmas carol.
Capturing the magic of Christmas from a child's perspective is "Somewhere in My Memory," showcasing the vocal talents of Smith's granddaughter Audrey. The music is light and whimsical while the lyrics bring to mind fond memories of past Christmases spent with family. Even Bono from U2 makes an appearance on The Spirit of Christmas. Set to Irish background music, Bono reads a portion of the traditional Irish carol "The Darkest Midnight."
Michael W. Smith should really do a Christmas Special on TV. He knows how to gather the right people to make the music emotional and fun all at the same time. The Spirit of Christmas will satisfy both Christian music and Country music lovers.