Sovereign by Michael W. Smith

Mixed Media
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Michael W. Smith has had a 30-year career in Christian music and has even broken into the mainstream briefly in the early nineties. In 2001 and 2002 he released two albums of worship music that showed his talent as an arranger and worship leader who could find good worship songs and lead them effectively. His two Worship albums set the standard for what this genre of worship music could aspire to.

While Smith is still a great pianist, performer, and arranger, the songs on his latest album of worship music, Sovereign, suffer from a lack of theological depth and an overuse of metaphor.  In “Miracle” for example, he explores the theme that God has worked a miracle in his life. Unfortunately, the hook that gets repeated is, “I am a miracle,” putting the focus on the singer instead of on God.

In “You Are the Fire,” Smith sings, “Let it burn, let it burn now/From the inside out/Let it rage, let it rage now/You are the fire.” This is the sort of metaphor that needs unpacking, but Smith never really does that. “Heaven Come Down” has so many metaphors going on that I’m frankly not sure what it is about.

These songs contain lots of snippets of Christian phrases that are catchy and well played but often don’t actually say much. As songs designed for corporate worship, these don’t quite measure up. (Sparrow)

About the Author

Robert J. Keeley is professor of education at Calvin College and director of distance learning at Calvin Seminary.

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