Smitty doesn't disappoint
Posted November 03, 2010
After twenty studio albums, nine Grammy Award nominations and six Dove Award victories, legendary Christian/Contemporary figure Michael W. Smith returns in 2010 with one of his most personal and tear-jerking albums to date titled "Wonder". With the release of his last excellent studio album four years ago (Stand), I had high expectations for this album. It's safe to say that even after so much success and so many albums that Smitty doesn't dissappoint.
The album opens up with the lead single "Save Me From Myself" which is the most aggressive of the album as well as being one of the most aggressive Smitty songs that I've heard. This song is a catchy pop/rock worship tune with a triumphant chorus highlighting that God is the only one who can save us from ourselves, as well as being someone we can lean on. Following this song is "Take My Breath Away" which is an upbeat pop tune that uses the strings and piano extremely well. "Run To You" is a great vocal performance from Smitty and also a solid soft rock ballad. "I'll Wait For You" takes a while to really get into the song but once the lively and passionate voices of the choir are introduced you'll have no problems at all. This song is one of the most personal and specific off the album. With lyrics like "and I'm tryin' to find a way to hold onto my faith...... while I wait for you" highlight the fact of needing God when the going gets tough in life.
For me the standout off the album is "Welcome Home" an emotional and personal piano ballad about dealing with loss. "I can't believe that I'm here having to say goodbye, and I can barely see you through these tears I cry." Smitty says he dedicated it to his wife's grandmother who "went home to Jesus". The song is sad at first because of the feelings of loss but then is filled with joy when you realise the incredible reality of going to heaven as a follower of Jesus. This song is my favourite because of the joyful message and the way it excels both musically and lyrically.
Smitty also goes very deep with the basis of his songs' meaning. "Leave" covers the issue of abuse with lyrics like "Daddy's on the sofa turning up another bottle to unleash when I get home" and also discusses the fact that we need God's help in these tough situations "And I just wanna leave, Oh God please help me now." Smitty's vocals sum up the feeling of the song and the amazing talent that he has. His vocals in the bridge sound as if he is really in the situation and crying out to God for mercy.
The lyrical depth on the album is incredible. The album covers themes of hope and loss on "Welcome Home", abuse on "Leave" and our need for a saviour on "Save Me From Myself", as well as dedication to his wife on "Forever Yours" and "You Belong To Me". The lyrics combined with the awesome vocals help to place the listener and Smitty himself in the situations of those described in the songs, and at the same highlighting the talent that this incredible artist has. Unfortunately in some parts of the album I felt as if Smitty had paid so much attention to the lyrics and forgot to mix up the sound a little bit. I thought his 2006 release "Stand" was amazing, but this new album from the legend Michael W. Smith is even better. There is a lot of depth on this album, especially lyrically. So if you're sick of the shallow rock n' roll songs that you hear on the radio then give this album a listen.
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