Michael W. Smith Essentials
All of Michael W. Smith’s many talents—vocalist, composer, pianist, and producer—converge on the CCM great’s Christmas projects. Released in 1989, Christmas is largely a religious offering that unveils the relative newcomer’s gift for bold orchestral and choral arrangements and transforming sacred works into elegant Christian pop. On subsequent holiday albums, including 2007’s It’s A Wonderful Christmas, the musician deepens his love for reimagining tradition while popping the cork on cheerful secular classics and instrumentals perfect for cozy family dinners. Smith, one of the first Christian artists to conquer the pop charts, is no stranger to crossover success. But he outdoes himself on 2014’s The Spirit of Christmas. It has everything fans have come to love in his holiday records, plus genre-smashing collaborations with Carrie Underwood, Bono, and his dear friend Amy Grant that lend the music universal appeal.