Music Review: Glory by Michael W. Smith

Today I did something I’ve never ever done before in my life.

I bought an entire music album online after listening to less than 30 seconds of one track.

This may not seem like a big deal to you, but for someone who could be legendary for her buyer’s remorse (even over digital music purchases), this is a huge deal. Normally, even the smallest of purchases online often requires a few hours minutes of research.

But today I turned over a brand new leaf.

Around a dozen years ago, I had the amazing experience of watching Michael W. Smith perform selections from his instrumental album Freedom live, backed by the Houston Symphony. It was an evening I’ve never forgotten. Over the years, I’ve often wondered if Smitty would ever release another instrumental album, as although he is most popular for his vocal work, Freedom was his most loved album.

Today while browsing on Amazon, I stumbled across the answer to my 12-year wait. How it slipped past me when it was released last fall, I’ll never know!

Glory is the long-anticipated sequel to Freedom and features twelve new original compositions. So far, I’ve listened to it a couple of times and after comparing it to how much I like Freedom, I’d have to say that it is close. Really close.

“I’ve said many times that Freedom is my favorite record, so I’m very excited to be releasing my second instrumental record,” said Smith. “I think the people that enjoyed Freedom will love this one; and I actually think some of the unique musical twists this project is taking will open it up to a whole new audience as well.”

Here’s a sneak peek at three of my favorites so far, “Glory Overture”, “Redemption”, and “The Tribute/Agnus Dei”.

Recorded with a 65-piece orchestra at London’s prestigious AIR Studios, Glory was arranged by Smith’s longtime friend David Hamilton and features a moving collection of original music. Included on the album, produced by Smith, are “Glory – The Overture,” “The Patriot,” “Heroes,” “Whitaker’s Wonder,” “Redemption,” “Atonement,” “The Romance,” “The Tribute” and a larger-than-life symphonic version of “Agnus Dei.”

“When I work with an orchestra I feel like I’m in my element,” said Smith. “I often think of the film ‘Chariots of Fire’ and the famous quote by the film’s hero Eric Liddell. He says, ‘when I run I feel His pleasure.’ This statement encompasses my experience when I work on instrumental music. When I’m able to see sweeping melodies and epic, cinematic songs come to fruition, it’s like I am offering a prayer to our Father in Heaven.”

Unlike Freedom which has a few random selections that I normally skipped because of the rock beat, I really enjoyed that this album was so beautiful and sweeping that I never even thought about skipping one song. You can purchase the CD or MP3 versions of Glory from Amazon or wherever music is sold.

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One comment

  • Melody April 22, 2012   Reply →

    How cool!!  I love his Freedom album. 

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