Reviewed by Tom Lennie
Here is Smithie in what has become, in the new millennium, a familiar setting - leading worship before thousands of devotees and worship lovers. The audio disc's been out for some time, the DVD carries footage of all those songs, along with four other cuts from that Houston, Texas performance. Certainly the video footage adds significant attraction to the musical set - the impressiveness of the mammoth Lakewood Church venue, the lively assistance of a 250-voice choir, whose participation throughout appears as worshipfully genuine (rather than just performance-based) as that of the 12,000 audience; all this, along with shots of the talented, hard-working band - all help enhance overall presentation. Then there's the colourful appearance on several tracks of the African Children's Choir - equally young-looking and photogenic as MWS himself! At least half these songs are Smith's own, mainly very recent compositions. Others include a couple of potent Hillsong favourites, the hook-line from Delirious?' "Majesty" and Tomlin's adaptation of "Amazing Grace" - the worshipful atmosphere created by the latter, unhurried song is particularly affecting, and very compelling. Smith unquestionably has a real heart for worship and his passion is truly infectious. At times the worship comes over as wonderfully spontaneous, rather than seeming merely like a rehearsed set. Among the bonus tracks are the little-known "Love In His Right Hand", composed by Texan Lana Holtz, and the funkier "Help Is On It's Way" co-sung with Israel Houghton. But it's not all roses. Apart from the title track, most of Smith's own compositions (a few of which were co-written by his wife, one or two by Martin Smith) aren't particularly memorable - his cover renditions make a far greater impression.
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|Experience worship as one of the 12,000 from every denomination and background who united on 20 June 2008 in Houston, Texas, to join Michael W. Smith in singing A New Hallelujah.|
This joyful night, now available on DVD, includes all of the songs from Michael W Smith’s best-selling A New Hallelujah CD, plus four new tracks and behind the scenes special features.
A 250-voice choir and friends Israel Houghton, Coalo Zamorano and The African Children’s Choir also contribute vocals and passion to this monumental night of worship.