Christian Music veteran Michael W. Smith offers us vibrant collection of worship songs with his latest album, Sovereign. Unlike his 2008 record A New Hallelujah, this new offering from Smith is more on a Christian Pop posing as worship—featuring five covers and seven originals.
As I listen to this album, I see a bolder, adventurous, and an out-of-the-box Michael W. Smith. This first worship album in six years presents a new and very different him. In the past, Smith has not always written his own lyrics. Most of his songs were covers especially on his live worship projects. Now, he partnered with some writers and producers to make Sovereign possible. Jason Ingram, Mia Fiedles, Seth Mosley and Kyle Lee are some of the co-writers.
Instrumentally speaking, Sovereign is diverse and rich. Heaven Come Down, Miracle, and Sky Spills Over are all beautifully-crafted but somehow lack lyrical depth and theological inspiration. In spite of the generic tendencies, each of these songs still affords you a new and different way to worship. ‘Miracle’ is a beautiful re-make of John Newton’s Amazing Grace. ‘Heaven Come Down’ is a song of anticipation for the Holy Spirit.
The fact remains that this is a worship album; it does have congregation-friendly songs. You Won’t Let Go, All Rise, You Are The Fire, The Same Power, and The One That Really Matters are some worth mentioning, catchy-with-content songs, designed for use in worship. ‘All Rise’ co-penned by Smith and Ingram, is my favourite cut on the album. The beautiful lines and brilliant melody speak about the worth of our King Jesus. Its simplicity will surely draw people to worship.
Two of the five covers on this project are Dustin Smith originals. Truth be told, there’s nothing new or special with his cover of ‘You Are The Fire,’ but his ‘The One That Really Matters’ is an extra-special one. His duet with Kari Jobe gives spice and flavour to the song. Their voices that blend perfectly will leave you astounded. So far, this one is my favourite among other covers.
Lyrically speaking, ’Sovereign Over Us’ has the depth. It is the highlight of the album and probably the heart also. This Aaron Keyes original gets a good Michael W. Smith treatment. Its brilliant lyrics dressed with elegant instrumentation is appealing; giving us the message to trust in God’s sovereignty.
In the midst of it all, Sovereign is a good reflection of Michael’s desire for his music to be relevant for all ages. His sudden shift may somehow look ‘unexpected’ for us; and has obviously given him a little discomfort, but for sure this will gather new listeners for him.
House of Praise
House of Praise