Flashback Friday Album Review: “The Big Picture”

This 1986 album, the third by Michael W. Smith, holds up as one of Christian music’s greatest when it comes to creativity and production. But it’s unfortunate that this one has gone largely unnoticed by today’s listeners and even by longtime Smitty fans.

What probably stands out the most is the intricate blend of rhythms and sounds as Brian Wilson might have done with Pet Sounds and The Beatles might have done with Sgt. Pepper, only now done with (what was then) new digital (synth) technology. This is Smitty’s most rocking album. And songs such as the opening “Lamu,” the follow up “Wired for Sound,” the second-side opener, “Voices,” and the closers “Goin’ Thru the Motions,” the instrumental, “Tearin’ Down the Walls,” and “You’re Alright” are each a  powerhouse of creative force and dedication. This top-notch production work by the late John Potoker, set a new standard for Christian music that has rarely–if ever–been seen.

And though they’ve all hit the mark with artistic excellence, none of his other albums have ever lived up to this particular standard of creativity. With the exception of his follow-up, “The Live Set,” no other studio album has lived up to this height of energy, either.

Lyrically, Smith intently focused more on reaching out to the challenges facing Christian youth with songs such as “Old Enough to Know,” “Pursuit of the Dream,” and “The Last Letter.”

It would have been nice for Smitty to have had at least one more album in this vein.

 

5 thoughts on “Flashback Friday Album Review: “The Big Picture”

  1. Pingback: Flashback Friday Album Review: “The Live Set” – A Closer Look

  2. Pingback: Flashback Friday Album Review: To Hell With the Devil – A Closer Look

  3. Pingback: The Live Set – Flashback Friday Christian Music Review

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