Album Spotlight: for KING & COUNTRY, ‘Unsung Hero: The Inspired By Soundtrack’

Posted on Friday, April 26, 2024 by Lindsay Williams

Album Spotlight: "Unsung Hero" for KING & COUNTRY

for KING & COUNTRY took a unique approach for the soundtrack that accompanies their highly anticipated feature-length film, “Unsung Hero,” which tells the remarkable real-life story of their family. Instead of loading “The Inspired By Soundtrack” with a mix of catalog hits or even a traditional movie score, brothers Joel and Luke Smallbone opted for a more innovative release that finds the duo covering and collaborating with their musical heroes.

Set in the ’90s, “Unsung Hero” serves up plenty of nods to that celebrated decade of Christian music, and the soundtrack honors the heyday of CCM just as intentionally. Instead of simply reimagining some of the genre’s most iconic hits, however, for KING & COUNTRY took it one step further by inviting the legendary artists who recorded them to appear on the project. The result is a meaningful rendering of “Place In This World,” with Michael W. Smith’s unmistakable vocal coming in with clarity on the final refrain; a synth-filled version of “Lead Me On” with trailblazer Amy Grant; and an epic renovation of “To Hell With The Devil (RISE)” with significant cameos from Lecrae and Stryper.

If for KING & COUNTRY’s modern-day evolution of Stryper’s “To Hell With The Devil” isn’t surprise enough, their unexpected cover of Seal’s pop-fueled “Crazy” will stop listeners in their tracks. Additionally, the duo puts their stamp on the carefree “Rhythm of My Heart,” made popular by Rod Stewart.

Meanwhile, the soundtrack’s opening anthem, “You’re The Voice,” subtly pays homage to the Smallbone family’s homeland. Initially recorded by Australian singer John Farnham, American rock band Heart brought the call-to-unity to U.S. soil.

With songs affirming the strength of their mum (“She Believes”) and the power of a father/son bond (“Checking In” with country music hitmaker Lee Brice), the relational dynamics explored on screen are equally acknowledged on “The Inspired By Soundtrack.”

Appropriately, the brothers also harmonize with their sister, Rebecca St. James, on a brand-new rendition of “You Make Everything Beautiful,” originally found on St. James’ 2011 album, “I Will Praise You.” The song becomes the centerpiece for one of the movie’s final pivotal scenes. Moreover, Joel and Luke enlist former “For God Is With Us” collaborator Hillary Scott — who plays choir director Luanne Meece in “Unsung Hero” — for a sparsely produced recording of timeless hymn “I Surrender All,” which also features Smith on piano.

“It was a very special project. It was a little difficult. Everybody thinks doing covers is going to be really easy, but back then, songs went for five minutes. So we really had to cut things down,” Luke reflects on the making of the album. “It was a fun, creative task that we really enjoyed.”

With a hearty blend of pop, rock, worship, hip-hop and even some country, there’s no genre the brothers don’t explore. Perhaps, more importantly — as with the movie — there’s also no emotion they don’t touch across the dozen complimentary selections offered on this official audio companion to “Unsung Hero.” Just like the film, for KING & COUNTRY’s soundtrack showcases the beauty of family, faith, music and community.

“Unsung Hero” is currently in theaters nationwide, and “The Inspired By Soundtrack” is available wherever you listen to music.

Album SpotlightAmy GrantFor KING & COUNTRYHillary ScottLecraeMichael W SmithMovieMusicNew MusicRebecca St JamesUnsung HeroCurrent Events

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