Artist: Michael W. Smith
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
When Reunion artist Michael W. Smith burst onto the music scene in 1983, no one could have imagined the road his career would take or the immense success he would experience. Now, twenty-three years later, he is the humble owner of five RIAA-certified platinum albums, fifteen gold albums, thirty-one number one hit singles, over three dozen Dove Awards, nine GRAMMY nominations, and three GRAMMY Awards. Through the course of his career, he has become the founder of several organizations, contributor to over two dozen compilations, author of a number of books, and actor in the Sony Pictures film The Second Chance, which was released earlier this year. But despite his impressive career and busy schedule, Michael W. Smith still presses forward to release his nineteenth album, Stand.
As Smith mentions, "Stand isn’t so much a ‘call to action’ as it is a ‘call to respond.’ It is a call to stand for the One who gave it all." That truly is the message captured on this album. From the beautiful ballad "Be Lifted High" to "The Stand" (the track which greatly influenced Smith’s decision on the album title), a heart of surrender pours through each note sung and each piece of music played.
However, also heard on this album is a call for Christians to wake up to who they are in Jesus Christ; to believe in the hope, love, and victory they were given; and to share this great gift with the world. It is in this message that some of the most powerful songs on the record came about. Songs such as "Come to the Cross" and "Come See" each extend an open invitation to those in the world seeking and yearning for hope and love.
When it comes down to the musical creative process on Stand, this can undoubtedly be seen as one of Smith’s most unique projects. The whole recording process was completed in forty days – a record for Smith. He also handed over full production duties to well-experienced producer Matt Bronleewe as well as surrounded himself with a team of songwriters (Leeland Mooring, Amy Grant, Martin Smith, etc.) who wrote a great bulk of the lyrics heard on this album. Both of which were huge changes for Michael. But because of the circumstances, this album brought forth a very raw and unpolished sound which largely complimented Smith’s urgent message to stand and resulted in a powerful record that is sure to impact people of all different walks of life.
Stand is a remarkable follow-up and continuation of Michael W. Smith’s amazing history of encouraging words and inspiring music. With the great success he has already experienced, one can only wait in expectancy to see what is in store for him next!