In 2000, Michael W. Smith released an instrumental project entitled Freedom. The project has sold more than 500,000 copies, and fans have often asked when he was going to make another record like it. Just over a decade later, the time has finally come. With his twenty-third album, Smith brings us Glory.
Smith began the project at home in Tennessee, later traveling to England to AIR Studios where he recorded with a 71-piece symphony orchestra. While Glory captures a spirit similar to Freedom, this record is its own project. Where Freedom had a strong Celtic influence, Glory is more American, and more cinematic in scope. Like Freedom, though, Glory will transport you. And you'll enjoy your journey through the different scenes that Smith presents on this album.
"Glory Overture" kicks off the record with tympani and brass. The piece is grand and vibrant, melodic and cinematic. The early part is reminiscent of Raiders of the Lost Ark and feels boldly adventurous. The song later slows and takes a magical, sweeping turn with bells and strings. Smith says the song was influenced by John Williams' movie score for E.T. While you'll be able to hear that influence, Smith has his own flair and flavor, and he is clearly at home creatively on the project. "Glory Overture" sets the tone for something special to come.
The next two tracks are distinctly patriotic, filled with love for home and country. "The Patriot" feels victorious, strong, and proud, like a soldier greeted with a parade after coming home from battle. The song pairs nicely with "Heroes," the next track. A tribute to the sacrifices of U.S. soldiers past and present, "Heroes" contains a hint of sadness, but it builds from strings and a lone, clear horn into a gorgeous, majestic piano piece. This album is not just a collection of songs. It is an array of musical landscapes. Eventually, strings and...