Rocketown Records/The Fuel Music
Release Date: November 10th 2017
Reviewed by: Joshua Andre
- Love Always Wins
“…I think this is what I’m made for. We’re all made to do something extraordinary and I still love what I do. I still think my best work is yet to come, and at 60 years of age, I can’t believe I’m even saying that. I don’t feel 60 — I feel 40 or 35. I think you have to reinvent a little bit. I’m going to take some risks and if I fail, it’s sure going to be a lot of fun doing it. Taking risks is writing with people you’ve never written with before, working with these young kids in town who I’m old enough to be their dad. But getting out of your comfort zone — that’s reinventing yourself…” By the time A Million Lights releases in February next year, it would be approximately 4 years since Michael W. Smith’s last studio album of all original material. One of CCM’s most respected and popular artists who helped paved the way for modern CCM (alongside artists like Amy Grant, Steven Curtis Chapman, Third Day, Point Of Grace, dc Talk, Newsboys, Jars of Clay and many, many others); the writer of famous songs such as “Secret Ambition”, “This Is Your Time”, “Friends”, “Live The Life”, “Place In This World”, “Agnus Dei”, “Come To The Cross”, “Cry For Love” and “Healing Rain”; is making a comeback, with yet another label change (from Sparrow Records to Rocketown Records and The Fuel Music) and the unveiling of a brand new single, the title track, just a few months ago.
While you can read my review of “A Million Lights” here, let’s dive deep into Smitty’s second single “Love Always Wins”, which just released last month. Musically still in the EDM mould, and with Smitty being heavily influenced by Coldplay musically, this change may have completely come from left field, but I for one am very interested and intrigued, as I was last time. And though Smitty is now an independent artist; the immediate feeling I am left with after listening to these new tracks is one of quiet anticipation and joy- hopefully this upcoming new record is the first of many to come on Michael’s new home of Rocketown Records and The Fuel Music! Cause I don’t see Smitty retiring any time soon…
Driven by haunting and mysterious synth and hard hitting drum beats, we are introduced into a piano heavy mid tempo ballad, where Smitty earnestly and fervently relays to us the notion that sometimes in this crazy world, we can get caught up in the lies that the empty feeling that we have inside of us is all that there is, and all that there is going to be. No matter what, we won’t be able to escape our mundane existence, however Smitty speaks truth in this song, reassuring us that ‘…I cannot see You but I know You’re near, no need to hide, no need to fear, You know the light’s gonna find us, Love always wins…’. Jesus will always find us in the end, and will stir inside out hearts a desire for something greater than ourselves, as we navigate life with a new perspective, knowing that we are not alone, and knowing that He has it all in the palm of His hand. What a freeing and confronting song, one that I will gladly listen to time and time again for encouragement when I am feeling down.
With the move from being signed to being independent not hindering Michael’s musical style at all (so far!), it’s an encouraging sign, but a bit premature. Cause we actually do not know what musical direction Michael W. Smith will take with his new album- whether it is pop, worship, CCM, or rock. But one thing is for sure- Michael continues to impress and show us in this song, parts of his singing and songwriting not previously explored nor focused, expanding his repertoire and giving newer fans a reason to sing out loud and shout, giving God the glory in every aspect of our lives! After being in the business for 30+ years, one may have thought ideas musically and lyrically may not be fresh anymore and Michael’s voice could have been waning. Yet “A Million Lights”, as well as “Love Always Wins” reminds me that Michael W. Smith isn’t going anywhere any time soon, and that’s definitely a good thing, as we can never get enough ‘Smitty’ songs in our lives! Well done Michael, I can’t wait to hear A Million Lights in 2018!
3 songs to listen to: Love Always Wins…until we all become more and more excited for Smitty’s new album A Million Lights to release in February 2018- his first in 4 years!
RIYL: for KING & COUNTRY, Coldplay, UNITED, Planetshakers, Colton Dixon, Citizen Way, Tenth Avenue North