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Album Review

Following successes in rock, dance, instrumental and more traditional worship, Michael W. Smith sees no need for further reinvention with his 2006 album Stand. It is an unapologetic commentary that suggests Smith may never run out of polished, heartfelt gems. Stand is another well-produced, balanced collection that neither wins nor loses him any fans. The album title leaves room for multiple interpretations, most likely referring to his unwavering faith but possibly also conferring his desire to stand up for the music that suits him best. Over the years, that has proven to be piano-driven ballads that resonate with the struggling, the suffering and the lost. In that sense the album treads familiar territory, yet "safe" is an inaccurate descriptor since it would connote a lack of ambition. To the contrary, Smith sets grand expectations from the opening rim shots of "Cover Me." The album reaches a tipping point following the rousing "Come to the Cross," closing out with a half-dozen of his trademark ballads. Standout tracks include "How to Say Goodbye," "In Silence" and the contagiously melodic "Escape Your Love." Youth's voices lend a slow build to album closer "Come See" though it's not quite the cathartic equivalent of "All I Want," the last track on 2004's Healing Rain. Regardless, Smith can seemingly do no wrong. Stand continues to endear him to his contemporary Christian and crossover listeners.


Born: 07 October 1957 in Kenova, WV

Genre: Christian & Gospel

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Michael W. Smith became one of the most enduringly popular artists in the contemporary Christian music market while also finding success as a mainstream artist. The songwriter was born in Kenova, West Virginia, the son of an oil refinery worker and a caterer. He became a devout Christian at age ten and spent his teenage years around a support group of fellow believers who frequently gathered to create music. That support group split up after high school, and Smith turned to alcohol, drugs, and wild...
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Stand, Michael W. Smith
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