New album "Iron Lung" available on all digital platforms
What You Need To Know...
As previously announced, May 10th was the release date for Martin Smith's upcoming album, Iron Lung (Integrity Music). As the follow-up to last year's live recording, Love Song For A City, and his last studio recording, 2014's Back To The Start, the acclaimed worship artist, songwriter, and producer has released his highly anticipated and most personal album ever recorded.
"This record is about joy and wonder, and the grace to keep singing through the journey of life," Smith recently shared about the making of Iron Lung. "It’s telling the story around my first breath as a child to the last breath of someone close to me. Iron Lung is a celebration of life, love, and faith."
As a child, Smith was diagnosed with a serious case of bronchial pneumonia, which became so life and death that he was literally placed in an oxygen tent similar to an ‘iron lung.’ As the medical device kept him alive, Smith’s faith-filled parents prayed that if God would "let him make a noise," they would give their son back to Him and dedicate him to His service. The profound experience of their pain and turmoil heavily influenced Smith to title the album Iron Lung, as did the unexpected death of Smith's mother-in-law during the making of the album. His family's sudden loss deeply affected the recording of his vocals, as he poured out his heart as the lyrics were brought to life.
The ten songs found on Iron Lung each declare that through trying times breath can feel heavy and immensely painful, but that joy and wonder can and will be found in the end.
What It Sounds Like...
In my own gentle and honest opinion, I would say Martin Smith is picking up the sounds of Pink Floyd. Nothing wrong with that. I actually like Pink Floyd. But as a personal worship album, I don't think it's appropriate.
Iron Lung is a rather interesting album. With so many songs claiming to be personal, it's hard to distinguish which song is considered worship and which ones are not. The title cut "Iron Lung" is supposed to speak of some of Smith's past, but the song lacks in the type of memories that Smith talks about in the story behind the song. The lyrics miss quite a bit and it leaves me asking questions.
Other songs like "Great and Glorious" and "Exalt", I see to be more like celebration songs. They don't really fit the overall album and I think they could've been left alone as singles.
"Fire's Gonna Fall" reminds me of the newer Hillsong worship songs. Great lyrics but I have to ask, "What fire is falling?" Once again, more questions.
"Always Be My Love" makes me feel like I just stepped out of a really bad candy store. The song lacks in its attempt to make me feel like I'm not listening to a 7-11 song. "Give Thanks For A Broken Heart" would have been a good song to end the album with but even then, you find loud string mixes and a lack direction for the song.
I've listened to plenty of worship albums that took the 'personal reflective' approach and Iron Lung fails in both categories. If I had to rate this album, I'd give a 1.5 out of 5 stars.
Sorry Martin Smith, don't quit your day job. You're better than this album.
For the full album and to hear the songs for yourself, go to http://bit.ly/Iron-Lung-Album.