After decades of shaking the roof off of arenas around the world and rocking our socks off,
Michael Sweet is back with his latest solo album, Him. Taking an unexpected
turn in his own career, but not in today's world of Christian music, Sweet's latest release is a work
of classic hymns. In a market saturated with artists giving their own take on the book that sits next
to Bibles in pews across the world, could Sweet offer us a raucous dive into it or is this simply another
bland repetition of the songs of yesteryear?
The first thing to be noticed are Sweet's undeniable vocals. He probably carries one of the most
recognizable voices in Christian music. The one disappointment was the fact that you don't hear him
soar up to the highest of high notes that we're familiar with hearing with Stryper. It's very evident
that Sweet is into and feeling what he's singing. However, the experience feels a little hollow when
you're expecting him to blow you out of the water with something vocally and it just doesn't happen.
Musically... it's pretty uninspired. There's very little that's unique here. It's mostly
alternative rock or soft rock. It just sounds like music you've heard numerous times before in the
90's. Many of the arrangements are interesting and sound like they could hold water, but the music
just doesn't live up to the potential. Sweet sounds like he's simply singing to background tracks for
most of the record. Occasionally, you'll catch a spark of a song that seems to come together ("Calvary,"
"Take My Life"), but even those feel like they were missing something when you're finished.
With vocals that leave you wanting more and music that falls short, the record just doesn't live
up to its potential. Michael Sweet is one of the most talented artists in Christian music. Whether
it's solo or with Stryper, a Michael Sweet album is always a good buy... just not in this case.
Unless you're a die hard Sweet/Stryper fan or really get into updates of hymns, you're not going to
find enough here to warrant shelling out your cash.
- Review date: 10/11/06, written by Matt Johnson