By various artists, Sparrow Records.
A trip to India inspired Martin Smith (Delirious frontman) and wife Anna to help the poor, and CompassionArt was born. Smith invited 12 well-known musicians and songwriters to create songs with the condition that all proceeds generated from them would permanently be donated to the poor worldwide. Half the revenue will be distributed to four projects: Hand of Hope, Ray of Hope, Stop the Traffic and Watoto. The other half will be given to support ministries chosen by the individual artists. Paul Baloche, Israel Houghton, Steven Curtis Chapman, Matt Redman, Michael W. Smith and Darlene Zschech were among the songwriters involved. Additional artists were invited to participate on the CD. Some standouts: Michael W. Smith and Amy Grant sing together again on “Highly Favoured.” The Watoto Children’s choir adds the perfect touch to this and other songs. “Friend of the Poor” is a heartfelt cry, performed by Andy Park and Leeland Mooring. Tim Hughes and Chapman lead the declarative “We Won’t Stay Silent.” “Fill My Cup” is sure to build believers’ faith. Included is a bonus 50-minute DVD documentary with artist interviews and more. An accompaniment book, The Art of Compassion, features the songwriters’ thoughts on compassion and justice. The artist lineup alone makes this album a must-have; but the story behind these songs makes it a collection like no other.