Michael W. Smith, Cracker Barrel, CCM Magazine - image
Michael W. Smith – ‘Hymns II’ album review
3 Overall Score

Label:

Cracker Barrel

For Fans Of:

Steven Curtis Chapman, Mark Schultz

We Like:

“Down to the River to Pray”

Michael W. Smith – ‘Hymns II’ album review

Michael W. Smith, CCM Magazine - imageFor his latest album, Michael W. Smith has partnered with Cracker Barrel restaurants for another collection of hymns—the appropriately titled Hymns II. Just like the first release, Smith exchanges his pop background for a front porch affair loaded with country and bluegrass instrumentation along with simpler, more sparse moments on the piano.

Hymns II’s highlight is evident from the opening notes. “Down to the River to Pray” commands your attention from the outset with its darker, sing-and-stomp approach. “I’ll Fly Away” deserves an all-out bluegrass approach, and that’s exactly what Smith gives it on another stellar track. Yet Smith’s tender approach on the piano on tracks like “Be Still My Soul” and “I Need Thee” gives this collection a wide range and emotional heft.

If you enjoyed Smith’s first hymns collection, or even his previous worship releases, Hymns II is a worthy addition to your collection.

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About The Author

Matt Conner
Contributing Editor

Matt Conner is a writer/editor who has interviewed approximately 2,000 musicians, authors, directors, actors and other artists. He’s the Managing Editor for PledgeMusic, a former editor with Vox Media, and writes regularly for numerous print- and web-based publications, including Under the Radar, Relevant and the Indianapolis Star.