The Spirit Of Christmas
Label: Sparrow (SPR)
For his fourth Christmas album, Michael W. Smith enlisted some big talent to help ring in the season. There are country acts like Vince Gill, Lady Antebellum, Martina McBride and Carrie Underwood, along with old friends like Amy Grant, the big voice of Michael McDonald and the big personality of Bono. Smith is first and foremost a composer, and, overall, he's put together an impressive collection of classic holiday hits you'll want to pull out year after year. One notable exception is "The Darkest Midnight." This spoken word piece featuring the U2 frontman feels like a wasted opportunity.