Smitty Still A Player in Christian Music
Posted May 12, 2014
By SarahFine_NRT, Staff Reviewer
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.
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.)
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