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article imageReview: Michael W. Smith breathes life into new 'Hymns' album Special

By Markos Papadatos     Mar 23, 2014 in Music
3-time Grammy winner Michael W. Smith's new album "Hymns" comes out on March 24 and it is available at Cracker Barrel stores and online.
Although it opens with a mediocre rendition of "The Old Rugged Cross," the rest of the album is superb. It is followed by the melodically stunning "My Jesus, I Love Thee."
Particularly impressive about "Were You There" is that he commences it a-capella and it builds up into a neat piano-driven tune. "Victory in Jesus" is more upbeat and he does the gospel classic "How Great Thou Art" justice. His version ranks up there as one of the best I've heard in a while since Connie Smith's and Martina McBride's.
"Just As I Am" is a delicate vocal and "Softly and Tenderly" is peaceful and soothing. In the piano-driven "It is Well," Smith is backed by a choir and it is to sing along to.
"When I Survey The Wondrous Cross" is an extremely moving hymn, and the beautiful "What a Friend We Have in Jesus" starts out slow and builds up into a more upbeat tune.
"Wonderful, Merciful Savior" is sonically and lyrically powerful and "God Of Our Fathers" is another powerhouse vocal.
The CD closes with the angelic choir tune "The Lord Bless You and Keep You," which was produced by Smith himself.
The Verdict
Overall, Michael W. Smith does a solid job bringing these traditional church hymns to life. The majority of them are excellent and one can tell that Smith put his heart into these songs. It is no wonder that he is one of the most accomplished and decorated male vocalists in the history of the Christian music genre. This collection garners 4.5 out of 5 stars.
For more information on Michael W. Smith and his latest Cracker Barrel project, visit his official website.
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