Smitty's Forgotten Album
Posted July 19, 2013
By JJFrancesco_NRT, Staff Reviewer
Michael W. Smith is arguably one of the faces of CCM from its early years straight through to today. His name is well known in both the mainstream and Christian markets. He's got enough chart-topping hits to fill several compilations and still have some hits left over.
It all started with his first CD, The Michael W. Smith Project, in 1983. The album produced some of Smitty’s classic hits in "Great is the Lord" and "Friends." It was the start of what would be a long and exciting career in music that is still going strong today. However, there was an album that came about a year after his debut that is often overlooked.
Michael W. Smith 2 has a simple title and is arguably a sequel to his successful debut. Perhaps it being viewed as a bit of a sequel is partly to blame for its lack of recognition, as well as the success of hits that came from the next album. But whatever the reason, the songs on this album are likely to be the least known to the more casual Smitty fans, for the most part.
That doesn’t mean there aren’t some hits in here. "A Way" is a strong enough opener that likely has some name recognition. "I Am Sure" is arguably the biggest hit from the record, if only for its inclusion on his hits compilation from his first decade of music. The song is definitely among the better tracks on the album, boasting a memorable chorus: "I am sure there will be a day/But it will not be like the nations say/The Lord will come when this life is through/And His deep desire is to be with you/Hearts will fly when the new world starts/And joy will rise like the morning star/God will meet every cry of the heart/And it's my prayer/I want you to be there." The song, as a whole, has one of the more classic melodies heard on the album.
"Hosanna" is another well-known classic from this release, arguably a worthy successor to the aforementioned "Great is the Lord" from his debut. Both songs are very choir-driven worship anthems closing an album, and both have that classic Smitty feel to them.
A collaborative ballad with Amy Grant comes in "Restless Heart." Needless to say, this would hardly be the last time these two CCM legends would collaborate. Two instrumental tracks, "Musical Instruments" and "Wings of the Wind," offer some interesting moments, but on an already slim 10-track listing they make the record feel a tad too short.
There's still everything you love about Smitty here. For diehard fans, this is definitely one to check out.
How Has It Held Up?
The album definitely comes with a dated feel. The guitars, the production, the synths, all of it carries a definite 80s feel. Especially compared with Smitty's later hits, this one shows its age a bit more, even on the hits, than most of his other releases.
What is Smitty doing now?
Check out the interview he did for NewReleaseTuesday to see what Smitty’s been up to as of late (find it on YouTube here
There's a good deal of worthy material here that is at least worth a listen. While Smitty’s best work was obviously ahead of him and his debut project was arguably stronger, this is a satisfactory sophomore release. Perhaps it deserves a little more love and a more recognized place on your Smitty playlist.
Song to Download Now:
"Hosanna" (Get it on iTunes here
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