His Best Album In Years!
Renaissance man Michael W. Smith, whose accomplishments include no less than a dozen books, more than two dozen CDs and DVDs, over three dozen GMA Music Awards, multiple Grammy® Awards, a starring role in a major motion picture and more No. 1 radio hits than you could count even if you took your shoes off, not to mention his leadership role at Rocketown Records or his philanthropic work with DATA and Compassion International, has just delivered his most satisfying album since 1990’s Go West Young Man.
Stand marks Smith as something of a cross between Sting and Bono. But where those artists’ recent projects might celebrate a certain enlightened spirituality, with Stand, Smith points his pen squarely at the core of Christianity. This is an album that explores the basic tenets of the faith with childlike simplicity; but, like the parables of Christ, there are plenty of layers in this music that will satisfy
diggers who relish exploring beneath the surface to find nuggets of truth.
While Smith has long been known as something of a perfectionist in the industry, he has never been a prima donna, frequently turning to friends and colleagues for songs. But Stand may be the most collaborative project of his career. On the poignant, melancholy, piano ballad “How to Say Goodbye,” he shares co-writing credit with superstar Amy Grant. Delirious front man Martin Smith’s influence on the humble worship song “Grace” is more than evident. He even covers the classic Keith Green tune “Oh Lord, You’re Beautiful” in a gorgeously orchestrated version that, at two and a half minutes long, is two minutes too short. Most prominent are the contributions by 18-year-old rising star Leeland Mooring, whose name is on more than half the songs on Stand.
Stand ranges from pure pop radio candy to cinematic film score-like arrangements. Filled with masterful, Jim Brickman-esque piano interpretations and nuanced Sting-like vocal turns, Smith successfully skirts the border between the worship and pop genres. The result is an album that might best be described simply as modern Christian music.
Review Provided by CCMmagazine.com