Various - Ultimate Music Makeover: The Songs Of Michael W Smith

Published Sunday 15th January 2006
Various - Ultimate Music Makeover: The Songs Of Michael W Smith
Various - Ultimate Music Makeover: The Songs Of Michael W Smith

RATING 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 13762-9516
LABEL: Rocketown RRD4027
RELEASE DATE: 2005-08-13
RRP: £2.50

Reviewed by Tony Cummings

When Rocketown Records first announced this one I feared the worst. So many "tribute" albums turn out to be tired or contrived and the thought of a bunch of Nashville CCM talents rading the songbook of Michael Whitaker Smith didn't sound like the kind of formulae likely to produce a pop music classic. So it is with considerable eating of humble pie that I identify this as one of the best various artists albums I've heard for many a long year. Cross Rhythms radio listeners are currently enjoying the full tilt rock guitar overhaul of "Lamu" by Taylor Sorensen and the goodies don't stop there. The David Crowder Band do a wonderful version of "Secret Ambition" complete with marvelously ricocheting electronic percussion; Tiffany Arbuckle (you know her as Plumb) brings her tender-voiced poignancy to a fast tempo'd version of "Pray For Me"; Sarah Kelly offers edge and attitude to "You Need A Saviour"; and "Missing Person" has never sounded better than given a gutsy rock overhaul from Tree63. There are some surprises too - Michael's son offers a credible version of "The Race Is On" while Stryper belt into that cheesy favourite "Friends" like it had been written to get stadia of headbangers raising their lighters aloft. Great songs, imaginatively performed.

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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