New article, published Pete’s articles, 2018. Michael W. Smith’s follow-up to The Big Picture in 1988 was 1 2 Eye, which like The Big Picture has quite good messages and lacks a certain oomph.
Songs like the reggae inspired Hand of Providence which opens the album has its heart and mind in the right place with God’s guiding hand at work in people’s lives.
The rock fused Secret Ambition, co-written by Amy Grant, highlights the humility of Jesus in his ministry on earth, which is a good thing to bring to the fore.
The middle of the album rests on messages about faithfulness to God (‘All Your Missin’ Is a Heartache’), the sadness of someone leaving the faith (‘I Miss the Way’), and personal satisfaction in becoming a Christian (‘On the Other Side’).
‘Pray for Me’ is like another version of W. Smith’s hit ‘Friends’, with its sentiment and theme. “Pray for me and I’ll pray for you…”, is like “Friends are friends forever if the Lord’s the Lord of them”. It’s a hit repeating itself. The theme is good—keep on praying despite the distance between you.
Now, for the big picture. In terms of understanding what the album means in a few words. This is not an easy to understand big picture album. It’s a series of songs, that loosely connect, or obviously don’t.
‘Live and Learn’ and the instrumental ‘Ashton’ are bright spots musically. Although the album has individual moments, the overall effect is flat.
Yet themes are one thing here, can’t complain really.