ALBUM REVIEW: Rebecca Linda Smith Renewed: American Heroes

The men and women who fight for our freedoms and the American way of life are often officially recognized by the government and civic groups. However, the album "American Heroes" from acclaimed inspirational country artist Rebecca Linda Smith accomplishes a dramatic feat - it personalizes the struggles and triumphs of our servicemen and women. Like a good movie or an interesting biography, the 12-song album manages to take the listener on a journey - one that you won't soon forget.
As a veteran of the armed forces herself (US Army First Lieutenant), Rebecca Linda Smith begins the album with the title track "American Heroes." It is an inspirational county music gem, and the infectious melody will instinctively cause your toe to tap - maybe without you even noticing it. However, the real meat of the album starts with the touching story in song "Proud To Serve." Indeed, Smith's star shines brightest on her signature stories in songs. "Proud To Serve" is a track that allows every American to focus on the everyday life of US soldiers.

The third cut, "There's Still Hope," is worth the price of the CD on its own and was previously hailed as a country classic in another review of Rebecca Linda Smith's music. "That Living Water" is another cut that allows Smith to paint a vivid picture of what Christ's living water would provide to people who don't have it. The dark country song "Committed" is a bit of a departure by Smith, but once again she delivers a passionate performance.

Rebecca Linda Smith and her husband Dr. Robert Frank Smith (who is also a US Army Major) wrote the majority of songs on "American Heroes." With the two veterans' combination of God-given talents, the Smiths have proven to be an unstoppable force of nature - producing hit after hit on multi-genre music charts around the world - from Japan to Germany and beyond.

The biggest surprise of the album is the soft "Always Always," and Rebecca Linda Smith offers an award-worthy stirring and sensitive vocal performance. Smith could even find additional success with a full album of soft, reflective songs. "Lonely Hearts" has much of the same charm and is a duet with Marine CPL and Michigan Music Hall of Fame inductee Dave Caley. Smith and Caley prove to be near-perfect musical partners and should consider recording more songs together in the not-so distant future.

Mike Reid's popular "Walk On Faith" allows Rebecca Linda Smith to take up the tempo. However, it is the final two songs on "American Heroes" that steal the show of the show on the concept album. "Never Be Apart Anymore" might be one of the saddest songs ever written, but it provides a valuable and powerful account of love and loss. The final track "We Will Remember" focuses on the terror of 9-11 and offers a rapturous chorus that recognizes the past while focusing attention on praying to God for guidance and safety. "We Will Remember" should be on the playlist of every country and inspirational radio station in the country. Program managers should also consider putting it in heavy rotation every September.

"American Heroes" is a carefully crafted blend of country and gospel that seeks to inspire patriotism, and it succeeds mightily. If you ever happen to do a search of "American Heroes" on the internet, don't be surprised if the faces of Rebecca Linda Smith and Robert Frank Smith come up on the page. Indeed, we must thank them and every other American veteran and current service member for their sacrifice to our nation. There might not be any better way to do it than sending a note of thanks along with this magnificent recording.  Country Chart Magazine