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Tradition With A Unique Touch
Posted January 30, 2016
By CaitlinLassiter_NRT, Staff Reviewer


Winner of countlesss awards (including several Doves and Grammys), artist behind countless successful albums, writer of so many of the songs we sing each week in church-- it's hard to sum up the career of Michael W. Smith with only one paragraph. A true legend in Christian music, Smitty has gained a fanbase of loyal listeners that eagerly await his next release. With Hymns II: Shine On Us, his second hymns record in partnership with Cracker Barrel, he fulfills that request.
 
The Highlights;
Clocking in at a lengthy 16 songs, you're sure to find some of your favorite hymns on this record. The album begins with energy-filled "Down To The River To Pray" that'll have you tapping your feet in no time before slowing things down with the worshipful moments "I Need Thee" and "Jesus, Only Jesus." The always peppy "I'll Fly Away" is of course included in this collection, along with mainline hymn staple "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God," which boasts an impressive background choir.

Longtime Christian music fans will be pleased to see a trio of songs that harken back to the golden age of Christian music, with Smitty's first remake of one of his first worship songs, "Great Is The Lord." Title track "Shine On Us" was made popular by Phillips, Craig & Dean back in the day, but not everyone knows that Smith and his wife, Debbie, were the original writers--so it's nice to finally hear the author lend his voice to it on this record. CCM fans' ears also will perk up when they hear a beautiful rendition of Chris Rice's classic song, "Untitled Hymn (Come to Jesus)."
 
The Bottom Line:
With Hymns II: Shine On Us, Michael W. Smith once again proves why he's one of the greats in this industry as he takes timeless favorites and adds his unique touch--breathing incredible creative energy into them to make them feel revived.
 
Song to Hear First:
"Down To The River To Pray"
 

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