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45 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Journey with a truly gifted musician
I have been listening to Smitty's music for over 15 years, and I continually find myself moved and inspired by his God-given talents. When I heard he was putting together this instrumental collection, I was excited and intrigued by what the record would have to offer. He has called this record "the soundtrack to the movie in my mind." I would LOVE to see the...
Published on November 24, 2000 by Christopher Bishop

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3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
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Published 25 days ago by Kim Dae Hee


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45 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Journey with a truly gifted musician, November 24, 2000
This review is from: Freedom (Audio CD)
I have been listening to Smitty's music for over 15 years, and I continually find myself moved and inspired by his God-given talents. When I heard he was putting together this instrumental collection, I was excited and intrigued by what the record would have to offer. He has called this record "the soundtrack to the movie in my mind." I would LOVE to see the movie! From first track to last, this CD paints a myriad of pictures in the mind each with its own unique set of emotions. The record uses a recurring musical theme in the pieces "Freedom," "Freedom Battle," and "Free Man" which represent the beginning, middle, and the end of the record. In between, we are treated to moving tracks like "The Call," "Carol Ann," "Prayer For Taylor," and a new treatment of an old classic, "Thy Word." Each piece of music opens up your heart and mind challenging you to go on a journey with the songwriter to these places that you have never seen. It is a chance to get to know Michael a little better in a new musical arena. This is a landmark piece of work from a very talented man, and I hope he continues to take on new challenges like this one in the future. I will certainly be along for the ride!
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Movie in My Mind, January 2, 2001
This review is from: Freedom (Audio CD)
Michael W. Smith's instrumental CD "Freedom" is a passionate display of his unending musical talents. I saw MWS during his Christmas 2000 tour where he opened the evening with "Hibernia," played "Freedom" and the very moving "Carol Ann"--obviously written for a young friend and mother who died in 2000--and he closed the evening with "The Call." Michael explained during the concert that doing an instrumental CD was something he's wanted to do for a long time. He has a passion for writing movie soundtracks in his head, and will this ever make you feel like you are living in a movie. I've felt many times that my life was playing out like a movie but with no music! Now I can listen and picture what Michael W. Smith is feeling in his movie. Gosh, I wish I knew what he was thinking as he wrote these selections; they are fantastic!
If you want a passionate, moving CD, this is the one--fast and slow songs with an interesting mix of orchestra and MWS's signature piano. What a great gift for friends and family!
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An inspirational and moving listening experience, November 24, 2000
By 
Starlighter7 "Starlighter7" (Chicago Suburbs, IL, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Freedom (Audio CD)
For anyone who loves beautiful, moving music, this CD is a must. Also for anyone who has been a fan of Michael's insrumental pieces on some of his previous recording releases (with songs on them), I think this would be an enjoyable CD. I have listened to this CD several times now after purchasing it 2 days ago. A peaceful feeling comes over me as I listen, and sometimes a piece inspires me visually in my mind. It's as if certain pieces are telling a story. I have recently read somewhere in a Michael W. Smith interview (I'm sorry I do not recall where) that a few of the pieces of music on this cd were inspired by a soldier's story of his life on the battlefield in one of America's earlier wars. The music on a few of the songs/pieces reflects that theme in a beautiful way. I love this CD. I hope Michael W. Smith is encouraged to continue writing instrumental music, and I even believe if the right people hear this CD , he could easily be considered as someone to write music for film scores. A few of the songs/pieces on this CD sounded perfect for film music, in my opinion. I love this CD, and I plan to listen to it over and over again in the days to come. I think this would make a good gift also for anyone who enjoys peaceful instrumental music, such as Yanni's...and also some of the songs/pieces on this CD had an Irish/Celtic flair to them reminicent of the "Riverdance" music (Irish Dance Show music).All in all I recommend this CD highly, and I hope you do enjoy it, as I have.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Freedom Rings True, May 29, 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Freedom (Audio CD)
I must say, I had never heard of Michael W. Smith until last week, when our high school band director said our halftime show would be music from his CD. So I went out and bought this CD, and I must say, he is one of the most talented musicians I've ever heard. "Freedom," and "Freedom Battle" are two of the songs were performing, and they are some of the most moving songs I've heard. Michael W. Smith is a wonderful composer, and for the being his first instrumental album- (and it wouldn't matter if this wasn't his first try- It's awesome!) I think he's outdone himself. He combines heart-pacing, fast rythmic songs with smooth, melancholic masterpieces. This CD is a must-buy, and not just for those who know who Michael W. Smith is.. I must say, I'm now a Michael W. Smith fan forever because of this outstanding CD.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's About Time!!, November 22, 2000
By 
Penmark71 "Mark" (Kitchener, ON, Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Freedom (Audio CD)
I, like many others, have been waiting so long for an instrumental album from MWS. Let me tell you that it certainly has been worth the wait. I haven't had this CD for 24 hours yet and have already listened to it about 4 or 5 times. Michael has said that this is the soundtrack to the movies in his head. He has done such an amazing job of portraying these scenes through his music. This is definitely not the pop Smitty that we are used to, so be warned, but it is definitely a great listen. So what are you waiting for...Stop reading...Buy it!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing and long-overdue work., November 22, 2000
This review is from: Freedom (Audio CD)
For several years, Smitty had been stating and re-stating that he planned on doing an instrumental CD or movie soundtrack. Further, he recently stated in an interview that his music career could not go much further until he did his dream. And he has. Long overdue and highly anticipated he has done an exceptional job capturing the feelings and emotions of his heart. Some songs--you'd think you were listening to a sountrack and his artistry shines throughout. Word is he's already working on a short film about the Civil War in his town of Franklin, Tennessee. Several cuts from this CD will probably be used to some degree. I see this CD as a springboard in his new endeavor of filmmaking and further music-making. I wish there had been even more on the CD.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring and beautiful, January 5, 2001
By 
Kat (The Golden State, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Freedom (Audio CD)
Michael W. Smith has been a huge part of Christian music for many years and his first instrumental effort proves that he is one amazing writer. This may offend some, but I really can't stand his singing - I truly think that he should stick to writing - let someone else sing. This album also proves that his music doesn't need a singer - I am amazed at how perfectly he can portray a mood through music without vocal help. "Freedom" takes you on a journey. It makes you want to reach out and touch the notes as they float by; it seems like a cloud that fills up the room. This man's passion for what he does is almost tangible. As far as the theme of the music, it is difficult to put it in a category. I would describe it as Riverdance Meets The Civil War Meets Braveheart Meets Smitty's Own Personal Touch Thrown In For Variety. But it offers so much more than any other soundtrack or instrumental album. Listen to it and you will understand. Michael W. Smith is a name that should be right along side John Williams, Hans Zimmer, Patrick Doyle, Zbigniew Preisner, and other brilliant composers; perhaps one day it will be.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Michael at his best: as composer, May 10, 2001
This review is from: Freedom (Audio CD)
In my mind, Michael W Smith has always stood head and shoulders above most contemporary musicians. Why? Because of his musical ability. Sure, perhaps some contemporary musicians have crafted finer poetry. But when it comes to the music, Michael W Smith is second to none. What has been outstanding about all his work, is not so much the lyrics, but his superb ability to compose and create music that is melodious, harmonious, catchy, and deep.
This album showcases Michael's creative talents for composing original music. The interweaving of mostly classical instruments with a few contemporary sounds is a perfect blend and demonstrates that Michael W Smith has a mastery over classical as well as contemporary sounds. You need to listen to it in one sitting, eyes closed, just enjoying the development and intensity of the music. As the music develops and builds up, it has the potential to bring tears to your eyes with its power and passion. Only great music can do that!
Weaknesses? Perhaps a few tiny ones. The music of "Thy Word" in one of the tracks is already familiar, and it would have been nice to have seen an album with entirely fresh music. And the electric guitar in the finale clashes somewhat with the overall "classical" tone of the entire album - I did not quite enjoy it as a fitting and climactic ending. I would also like to have seen more in the liner notes explaining the theme of "freedom", and the significance of the various pieces - understanding the message and picture that Michael had in mind with this composition would only enhance listener enjoyment.
But these aside, this is a superb album. The fact that there are no vocals in this album is not a weakness, it's a strength. Not that I dislike Michael's voice. But this brings out his real strength: Michael's music - and gives it the attention and spotlight it deserves. In my mind, only one of Michael's previous albums rivals "Freedom" for musical quality: "Christmas". "Christmas" is short, but the development and musical qualities of it are equally superb. I sincerely hope that "Freedom" will not be the last album we see from Michael W Smith that showcases his abilities to compose creative and delightful music. In fact, I sincerely hope he will continue to develop his musical gifts in this direction. If you don't yet have it, get "Freedom"! Make no mistake - this is one of the few contemporary Christian albums displaying an outstanding musical talent rarely seen today.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't wait for the movie, December 27, 2000
This review is from: Freedom (Audio CD)
Michael W. Smith has done it once again - released a true masterpiece. The tunes on this record is said to be the score for the movie in MWS' mind. And what a score!
Even though it's quite unlike the music we heard from MWS until today, it's probably one of the best CDs he ever made, and it has definately been worth waiting for.
The CD is entirely intrumental, and most of the tunes have been recorded in cooperation with the Irish Film Orchestra, which adds a great sound. If you liked the scores of movies like Titanic or Braveheart etc., you wouldn't want to live without this album. Let it find the way to your shopping cart.......
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I give this album an A+, November 23, 2000
By 
Amazon Customer (Carmichael, California United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Freedom (Audio CD)
I purchased this album without listening to any of the music. I knew Michael W Smith had a desire to make an instrumental album and I love all his previous works, but I was questioning this new embarkment. However, when I listened to the whole album, I knew it was 5 stars with me. Each song is different. You could say that this piece could be Michael's soundtrack of life. His piano playing is just remarkable and the symphonies blend so well. There is quite a variety of style in this album and was very worth the purchase. I'm not usually into instrumental music myself but Michael W Smith's 'Freedom' takes the cake!
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Freedom
Freedom by Michael W. Smith (Audio CD - 2000)
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