Michael W Smith - Stand

Published Wednesday 15th November 2006
Michael W Smith - Stand
Michael W Smith - Stand

RATING 6 6 6 6 6 6
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 20786-11841
LABEL: Reunion 602341010924
RELEASE DATE: 2006-11-07
RRP: £9.99

Reviewed by Mike Rimmer

Here's the 19th album from a veteran artist whose last release 'Healing Rain', in 2004, saw him returning to pop music after a couple of live worship albums. Is it my imagination or has Smith's musical journey stalled since 1997's 'Live The Life'? Self indulgent soundtracks, unimaginative (though admittedly high selling) live worship albums and then the patchy 'Healing Rain' album. Where once a Michael W Smith release would contain a collection of diamond pop gems, now it's a set of imitation pearls. It seems that Smith can't decide whether this should be a studio worship album or a pop record. One thing is certain, despite two or three brief moments where the Smith of old can be recognised, this album is largely a disappointment, packed with so many turgid ballads that it's in danger of collapsing under the weight of its own inertia. Smith has employed the songwriting talent of current teenage prodigy Leeland Mooring on a lot of songs here with some surprising results. The opening "Cover Me" is a strong start and gave me high hopes for the album but these were soon dashed. "Escape Your Love" is dated pop soul with a Stevie Wonder style harmonica, "In Silence" is more upbeat but lacks the punch of a classic like "Love Me Good". And that's the problem here, it just seems Smith is a shadow of his former self and there is something seriously amiss here. The Amy Grant co-write "How To Say Goodbye" has a pretty melody and "Open Arms" which wants to be an anthemic moving inspirational ballad ends up sounding like Smith by numbers. Not sure what he was thinking of when he recorded a cover of Keith Green's "Oh Lord You're Beautiful" or Hillsong United's pedestrian worship song "Stand" but it feels like I've heard it all before and neither song adds anything to this album. What has become of Michael W Smith, purveyor of pop masterpieces? Where once he made colourful creative artistic pop music, now he seems to have faded to grey soggy blandness.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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Product Description
'This album is called Stand. It is a call to stand for what you believe in. It is a call to stand outside of the walls of the church, rubbing shoulders with the lost. It is a call to stand because you’ve captured a glimpse of something so powerful you cannot stay seated. It is a call to stand ‘for the One who gave it all’.' Michael W Smith.
This album is more than a collection of songs – it is an experience. It reflects ideas that have captured Michael W Smith’s imagination with an urgency that comes through the music - a download of his thoughts and feelings as he leads worship at his home church. Themes include embracing the lost, stepping out of our comfort zones and taking a stand.
Eight of the tracks on this album were penned by Leeland Moorings, lead singer and songwriter for the band Leeland.
Michael says, 'We need to think what happens in church on Sunday as only 10% of what it means to be the church. The rest of the week should be 90% of what it means to be the church, the real body of Christ.'

Reader Comments

Posted by Don in state of Delaware @ 17:07 on Oct 7 2013

This is not quite the follow up to Healing Rain that one would expect. This set of works contains nearly 40 minutes of Michael music from a different perspective. First off, title song The Stand, stands out as a great new comeback anthem worship song. I happened to see a performance of this song in a concert clip before purchasing the cd. "Come and See" that follows The Stand was a song cowritten by Michael & his wife Debbie and some of their offspring.
3 of Michael's offspring sing bgvs for the song.
Michael takes us on a little journey back in time to hear a chorus rendition of the late and talented Keith Green's beautiful "O Lord, You're Beautiful", nice job Michael. I really like "How To Say Goodbye" that he wrote with CCM's top leading lady Amy Grant. This song is too short like a goodbye (a little over 2 minutes)and probably would have faired better if recorded as a duet with Amy and lengthened in recording time.
Finally we hear the ccm pop sensational tune that closes the songset "Escape Your Love". This is a great song, Michael barely brings it about in its best recorded form. This song could be taken two different ways, either way it has hit written on it. When I saw the song title "Open Arms" I was taken back in time again to Amy Grant's 1984 Straight Ahead. "Come to the Cross" did not have the song flavor I was hoping to hear, I love the lyrics. It could have been broken down into two different songs, one more mellower.
This is nothing lilke "I'll Lead You Home" cd, however it is not a total failure, all is not lost. God Bless, Don

Posted by Jason Ramsey in Dewsbury @ 08:10 on Dec 21 2007

There is a possibly an age issue here. I loved both Healing Rain and Stand. But I think all the old MWS stuff is poorly recorded and not something I'd ever put on really with a few exceptions. Mike remembers the golden age of MES in his eyes. As far as I am concerned, this album is class, and its obviously one that has split opinion

Posted by Trevor in Stoke-on-Trent @ 21:31 on Nov 25 2006

Like Mike, I was a tad disappointed with the overall sound, but one small diamond among the imitation pearls is 'Come To The Cross' - a radio single in the USA, which I suppose says something .............. PS for Mike - what about 'He Will Carry You' from 'This Is Your Time'?

Posted by belinda chadd in tasmania australia @ 10:50 on Nov 18 2006

well i think that it is awesome i love the album from begining to end but there are some who like it and some how don"t thats why jesus made us all diffreent well i have played it 10 times. well he did in 45 days i think that it is awesome and i proud to say that i am a smitty fan and always will be

The opinions expressed in the Reader Comments are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms.

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