I first heard of Matthew Smith (Facebook and Twitter) as one voice in the Indelible Grace group of artists. His songs quickly became some of our favorites. There's something confident & encouraging in his voice. I got the pleasure of serving alongside him when Michael Spencer (iMonk) invited me to speak and Matthew to sing at his school in Kentucky a few years back. Matthew asked me to review his new album, Watch The Rising Day, and it was an easy "yes."
Most of the album is Matthew reworking hymns long forgotten. And they are wonderful. He also includes his acoustic version of "In Christ Alone," a familiar hymn featuring Sandra McCracken and another mixed by Derek Webb. The song with Webb, "You Are The Light (Glitchy Sonar Mix)" is the opening song featuring Smith's voice and a, well, glitchy sound mix. :) It's fun. It's different. I dig it.
I'll be honest, I have a hard time making it through the album because I keep going back to re-listen to a song as it hits me and I'm meditating on the lyrics. Culprits: "I Have Seen The Lord" (listen here) and "Redeemed, Restored, Forgiven" (listen below).
Smith has done well to create songs that can be used for public worship as well as private. There are songs that plumb the depths of our sinfulness & look to the cross and others that soar in view of our Savior. A good mix.
"Lord Jesus, Comfort Me (Communion Hymn) - slow & meditative
All the pain You have endured
All Your wounds, Your crown of thorn
Hands and feet with nails through bored
The reproach which You have borne
Your back, ploughed with deep furrows
Cross and grave and all Your sorrows
Your blood-sweat and agony
Oh Lord Jesus, comfort me
"I Need Thee Today" - upbeat, rocking
I need Thee, precious Jesus
For I am full of sin
My soul is dark and guilty
My heart is dead within
I need the cleansing fountain
Where I can always flee
The blood of Christ most precious
The sinner’s perfect plea
The album is wonderfully rich with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
You can listen to Watch The Rising Day streaming in full. I highly recommend you buy it and Matthew's other albums. His music is a staple in my devotional life, in our home and in our church. His music is so solid, with a wonderful mix of ancient and current, that I can't see why anyone wouldn't love it.
Matthew created discount codes for Reformissionary readers...
steve = 25% off the Deluxe Edition CD + Download
steveLP = 10% off the Limited Edition Vinyl + Download
(Codes expire Monday, August 23rd)
Download Matthew's two previous full-length albums (All I Owe and The Road Sessions Collection) for $6.99 at http://matthewsmith.bandcamp.com.
Also check out Bob Kauflin's review at WorshipMatters.com.
Listen to a new favorite of mine off the album, "Redeemed, Restored, Forgiven." I can't stop myself from singing (shouting!) the chorus. Turn it up!
Redeemed, restored, forgiven
Through Jesus' precious blood
Heirs of His home in heaven
Oh, praise our pardoning God