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Michael W. Smith & Friends
"The Spirit Of Christmas"

© MWS/Sparrow/Captiol

September 25 - 01, 2022

Year of Release: 2014
  • The Miracle Of Christmas
  • It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year
  • Happy Holiday/Holiday Season
  • Christmas Time Is Here
  • White Christmas
  • Somewhere In My Memory
  • The Spirit Of Christmas
  • Silent Night
  • What Child Is This
  • Almost There
  • All Is well
  • Christmas Day
  • The Darkest Midnight
  • Peace

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    Where most playlists would begin Christmas after Thanksgiving... Well, some are planning that after Halloween. WSVNRadio does it earlier than both, with Cristian artist Michael W. Smith's The Spirit Of Christmas, credited as Michael W. Smith & Friends. Better now, than not having a Christmas album this year - You never know just what we'll be featuring as our "Album Pick of the Week...

    Michael W. Smith presents Christmas songs - some traditional (standard), some originals. There are a few songs in which he sings alone. Two songs are instrumentals, by the London Session Orchestra. (Great Christmas orchestration arrangements!) His "Friends" include: Vince Gill, Lady Antebellum, Audrey Smith (his daughter), Little Big Town, Martina McBride, Amy Grant, Carrie Underwood, Jennifer Nettles, Bono, and Michael McDonald.

    The London Session Orchestra kicks off the album with "The Miracle Of Christmas." Miracle clearly defines it... The orchestraion is just incredible. The next two songs are by Michael W. Smith himself - The first, "It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year" is a very energetic version by Michael, where most remember this song by either Johnny Mathis or Andy Williams. The second song by Michael, is "Happy Holiday/Holiday Season," as it is a good version.

    The next track is with Country artist (and recent member of The Eagles), Vince Gill -- "Christmas Time Is Here" is the song from A Charlie Brown Christmas. The next track features the country group Lady Antebellum, especially it's female lead vocalist, Hillary Scott, on "White Christmas." Following that, features Audrey Smith. That maybe an unfamiliar name, and the Christmas original "Somewhere In My Memory." If Audrey's last name may make you wonder... Yes, she is Michael W. Smith's 7 year old granddaughter.

    "The Spirit Of Christmas" is a medley of 5 popular Christmas songs: "Deck The Halls, Good King Wencelas, O Little Town Of Bethlehem, Feels Like Christmas," and "O Come All Ye Faithful." The medley is another powerful instrumental, by the London Session Orchestsra, with Michael W. Smith playing piano.

    The remaining 7 tracks has Michael W. Smith's "friends": THe classic "Silent Night" has Country's Little Big Town. A great version, with great harmonies. Country's Martina McBride helps out on another Christmas classic, "What Child Is This." Martina's voice is great, as always. "Almost There" has Christian's Amy Grant; as this version is simply impressive and powerful. This song was co-written by both Michael W. Smith and Amy Grant. American Idol winner and current Country star Carrie Underwood provides a beautiful duet, "All Is Well" (co-written by Michael W. Smith). Jennifer Nettles (member of the Coutry group Sugarland) on another co-written song by Michael W. Smith, "Christmas Day." It's another good duet.

    "The Darkest Midnight" features the spoken word by U2's Bono, yet it's more like whispering. The music was written by Michael W. Smith, and the lyrics are from an Traditional Irish Carol. Ending the album is "Peace", a duet by Michael and another famous Michael... Michael McDonald.

    Michael W. Smith & Friends' The Spirit Of Christmas is a very good and powerful album. A great combination of both standard Christmas songs and originals. And Michael's "friends" are truly exceptional. Even the London Session Orhestra provides a very powerful source in sound and orchestration. You can't go wrong with Christmas music, and Michael W. Smith and his Friends provides a very entertaining Christmas album.

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