From the Vault...


Michael W. Smith

© MMI Reunion Records
Year of Release: 2001

track listing
  • Forever
  • The Heart Of Worship
  • Draw Me Close
  • Turn Your Eyes
    Upon Jesus
  • Open The Eyes
    Of My Heart
  • Above All
  • Breathe
  • Agnus Dei
  • Awesome God
  • More Love More Power
  • Purified
  • Above All
    (Studio Version)

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    Michael W. Smith

    Christian artist Michael W. Smith returns this week, with another compelling, praiseful, uplifting, powerful album to review. (The list of positive words keeps going and going...) Worship. His first album of this nature, where he records a live album of Praise and Worship. Indeed it is, the entire album is an uplifting experience. So many positive messages here on this album. [Just as our previous reviews -- "Stand" and the follow up to "Worship", "Worship Again"] -- powerful, praising, moving -- Not alot of "rocking" numbers here, yet the feeling of positive and moving through the source of music makes the two albums reviewed on our site making Michael W. Smith an artist having a force to reckon with, in the popularity of Christan music. His Worship album is another album to add to this list.

    The concert was recorded on June 1, 2001, at the Carpenter's Home Church, in Lakeland, Florida. The album's release date was 9/11/2001, a date in which we would never forget. No one could predict what would happen on that day, yet Michael W. Smith's concert would be a better event, than that of the World Trade Center tragedy.

    The opening track, "Forever" is surely an eye opener, as well as an earful of powerful music. Powerful lyrics here too. Yet the following songs have a nice, gentle atmosphere, the lyrics and the feeling of the songs are extremely powerful in the Christian faith: "The Heart Of Worship," "Draw Me Close." The same can be said for other tracks: "Above All" (both versions), "Breathe," "Let It Rain."

    "Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus" has a sad feeling when starting (mostly instrumental), yet it is very spiritual. Another uplifting track, is "Open The Eyes Of Your Heart." "Agnus Dei" has a classical touch, and the choir is awesome. "Awesome God" displays the awesome choir too. A little information on the "choir" -- it has an all-star cast of Christian artists: Amy Grant, Phillips, Craig, and Dean, Chris Rice, Out of Eden, members of Plus One, Cindy Morgan, and many others. "More Love, More Power" is loving, powerful, in its peaceful and spiritual sound.

    Two bonus tracks: The powerful and magic "Purified," and a studio version of "Above All."

    I really admired the comment reviews on regarding this album. If I may do so, borrow a few comments from there: "This CD is absolutely awe inspiring. The way the songs flowed into each other from beginning to end could not have been more well thought out. From the beginning with the two girls reading scripture to the ending with More Love More Power, the presence of the Holy Spirit was obviously present."

    "Worship That's Genuine":
    "Michael W Smith has always wanted to record a worship album like this. On the EXODUS project he worked to create a multi-artist collaboration that focused on creating modern worship songs for the church. On his new album, WORSHIP, he is able to actually lead a live worship service that absolutely succeeds in putting the focus on where it's supposed to be: God. The song line-up is a good one. Newer tracks like "The Heart Of Worship" and "Open the Eyes of My Heart" are sung right along side classic songs like "Awesome God" and "More Love, More Power." Smith has led worship at his church for years, and that experience shines through here as he proves to be most adept at taking the spotlight off of himself (and the "all-star" cast in the choir) and directing it towards the One who was being sung to. The album flows well and though it's not really a "modern" worship album (musically it is more traditional) it's got all the passion and genuine spirit associated with the modern worship movement. The studio tracks included as a bonus are also superb (and Smith writes with his wife, Debbie, on "Purified," for the first time in years), and sit well along side previous Smith classics like "Agnus Dei" and "Great Is the Lord." If you're a fan of Michael's you're going to pick this up automatically. Even if you're not, you should give it a listen. It doesn't rock and there's nothing particularly innovative here, but it's a real worship experience that brings you into the presence of God, and that's what it's really all about. WORSHIP is definitely one of the best of a growing number of worship album options. FIVE STARS."

    "Power, you WILL feel it":
    "Well, he finally did it. Michael W. Smith's first worship album. And, not even surprisingly, it's THE best collection of praise and worship songs I have ever heard. Every single offering on this album is absolutely beautiful. The first time I heard the opening track, it stirred my blood and sent a shiver up my spine, and the only reason I wasn't clapping along with the crowd on the CD was because I was driving at the time. Michael's ability to take an already great worship song and turn it into a masterpiece is unparalleled. I only wish I could have been in the chapel at Carpenter's Home when this blessed event took place. His amazing piano is joined by a wonderful band and a choir that reads like a Christian music All-Star roster; Amy Grant, Phillips, Craig, and Dean, Chris Rice, Out of Eden, members of Plus One, Cindy Morgan, and many others all contribute to this powerful experience. A few of the songs on this CD aren't very well-known, but by the end they'll be forever etched on your memory, thanks to this ensemble. "Unforgettable" is an understatement. You'll be inspired, lifted up, brought to your knees, and shaken to your foundation, all in one hour. When I heard the chorus for "Let It Rain", I cried for the first time in over ten years--it's that moving. I could go on for days about this album, but the review has to end sometime. Get this CD and listen for yourself... it could very well change your life. "

    Michael W. Smith's Worship keeps the positive Christian faith. Every album we've reviewed have received the 3-star rating. (Our highest rating.) More of his albums will be reviewed on our site. For a positive, spritual, and moving experience, discover the Christian music and the works of Michael W. Smith. You will not be disappointed.

    © All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of MMI Reunion Records and is used for reference purposes only.

    Previous Review: #1378
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    Next Review: #1380
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