Saturday, June 26, 2010

Michael W. Smith: I'll Lead You Home (1995)

(As published in Kamikaze ... )

Michael W. Smith, I'll Lead You Home (Reunion). When I was in college ten years ago, the only people I knew who listened to Michael W. Smith were the girls in Campus Crusade for Christ. But since then Smith has evolved to where you can now actually hear folks asking Casey Kasem to play "Place in This World" and "I Will Be Here for You" as long-distance dedications. And with I'll Lead You Home he goes for broke, enlisting the production skills of Patrick Leonard* (Madonna, Toy Matinee) and riding a Reunion Records promotion blitz that has already turned Home into a big seller. And it deserves to be, if only for
the orchestra-enriched trilogy "The Other Side of Me/Breathe in Me/Angels Unaware" and the buoyant "Calling Heaven." Only occasionally does Smith's voice prove too shrill or his persona too corny for Leonard's spit and polish. And "Straight from the Heart," which Smith produced himself, rivals Bryan Adams and Richard Marx both.

*A relevant interview with Patrick Leonard:

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