by Michael W Smith, classical/worship (2001)
Reunion, ASIN B0009R04LE

Devotions is actually the bonus CD that accompanied a few copies of Michael W Smith's live worship CD Worship. After listening to his lacklustre recent release Healing Rain, I have to give Devotions one more spin to remind myself why this secular music listener is a fan of Christian contemporary artist Michael W Smith.

This CD is a worship CD, make no mistake, with Mr Smith gently reading aloud passages from the Bible as his way of prefacing the tracks on this CD. The tracks themselves are beautiful piece of works that combine the best of New Age and traditional chorale elements with recognizable contemporary trends to create music that gives me a serene feeling of well-being inside. Just listen to Mr Smith's rearrangement of Agnus Dei for a superb example of inspirational music that this man can come up with on a good day. His well-known rearrangement of Great Is The Lord is here as well, and it's a nice and quieter alternative to the live version on Worship. The other tracks are in some vein, all of them sweeping and uplifting music that could easily fit in the New Age genre as easily as it fits the worship genre. The only complain I can have is that Mr Smith's vocal ability often cannot match the grandeur of some of the more ethereal tracks here like Agnus Dei, but all is forgiven with his gentle and moving reading of the scriptures that flow and segue beautifully into each track here.

But my real complain is that, with only five tracks, this CD is too short as a showcase of Michael W Smith's talent as one of the most interesting players in the Christian contemporary artist scene when his creative juices kick in. I normally won't review bonus CDs like Devotions but this CD is far superior to the somewhat predictable if good Worship that it feels like a shame that this CD is available only in limited numbers through brick-and-mortar and online used CD stores.

Rating: 89

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