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Joshua: The Soundtrack 
Arranger/Composer: Michael W. Smith
Word Entertainment/Warner Music Group 080688620622
Length: 12 tracks, 54 minutes

The movie Joshua, based on the novel by Joseph Girzone, is garnering a great deal of attention.  Tony Goldwyn stars as Joshua, who may, or may not, be the Lord come to Earth in our time.  The Joshua soundtrack album has twelve tracks by various Christian artists including Michael W. Smith, Jaci Velasquez, Third Day, Point of Grace, Pete Orta, Rachael Lampa, Wes King, Cindy Morgan, Mark Schultz with Nicole C. Mullen, downhere, and Anointed.   Song lyrics are specific to the theme of the movie, which is hope and love.

The first song on disc is "Braver Newer World" by Pete Orta introducing a new life, "Show me now that you know how to play the winning game."  Orta's clear diction brings home the message. Dove award winner, Michael W. Smith only has one song on the soundtrack, "Love Is Moving," but it is the one at the start of the movie which introduces the stranger, a wood carver as he arrives in a small town.  "..the tears are falling with no relief in sight; love is good and love is moving here."  The song flows easily and sets the tone for the rest of the film, although it is number eleven on the CD. 

Jaci Velasquez has two songs here, "God So Loved The World," based on John 3:16, and "Innocence," a complex song. The lyrics ask the listener to:

Let me be the one to come and lead you through the night
when hopes and dreams begin to face and hearts begin to bleed
the visions that are haunting you will vanish with the light
restore the hearts of innocence.
This is a powerful message which closes out the album.  Velasquez is a singer who gets the lyrics out to the audience with full voice. Will you answer the call?

On the other hand, Rachel Lampa's "I'm all Yours," Anointed's "It's a Matter of Love," and "Faith, Hope and Love" with Mark Schultz and Nicole C. Mullen can be understand 50 percent of the time.  "I'm all Yours" has an upbeat arrangement and is interesting instrumentally, but all I could pick out was, "I'm giving it all up for you." The same thing with "It's A Matter of Love" in which, "I'll be there no matter what you do," comes through but not much else. 

Cindy Morgan's "I Love You" is a delight with a throwback to the 1940's swing era arrangement with clarinet and muted trumpet.  Morgan sounds just like a radio singer of that time period and wraps the lyrics around the microphone like a silk scarf. "Wings of A Dove" by Point of Grace is easy-listening gospel with drums, saxophone, trumpet and organ. 

Wes King's "Excavate" has an unusual title.  The lyrics are from a Bible passage "where your treasure is, there will be your heart." King really brings the point across as does Third Day with "My Hope is You."  Their selection starts in a Middle Eastern mode and gradually works its way into a full band sound.   In the middle, band members exhort the audience, "We are the church, we must love one another."  How true.

The soundtrack to Joshua is a satisfying collection, not only for a movie, but also simply for inspirational listening.  Joseph Girzone has written several Joshua books. One can always hope for a film sequel and accompanying soundtrack. 

Copyright 2002 Marie Asner  5/12/2002


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