Closer (Shawn McDonald album)

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Studio album by Shawn McDonald
Released March 22, 2011 (2011-03-22)
Genre CCM
Length 46:12
Label Sparrow
Producer Christopher Stevens
Shawn McDonald chronology

Closer is the fourth studio album by American Christian singer-songwriter Shawn McDonald. The album was released on March 22, 2011 by Sparrow Records, and was produced by Christopher Stevens. The album saw commercial success and positive reception.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating 3.5/5 stars [1]
AllMusic 3.5/5 stars[2]
CCM Magazine 3/5 stars[3]
Christian Broadcasting Network 4/5 spins[4]
Christian Music Zine 2.5/5 stars[5]
Christianity Today 2/5 stars[6]
Cross Rhythms 9/10 squares[7]
Jesus Freak Hideout 3.5/5 stars[8]
3/5 stars[9]
Louder Than the Music 4/5 stars[10]
Melodic 3.5/5 stars[11]

Closer garnered generally positive reception from twelve music critics ratings and reviews. At AllMusic, Jared Johnson rated the album three-and-a-half stars, stating how the release "finds him at his deepest and most thought-provoking".[2] Grace S. Aspinwall of CCM Magazine rated the album three stars, writing that the release "is a brave and courageous peak inside his heart."[3] At Jesus Freak Hideout, Kevin Hoskins rated the album three-and-a-half stars, saying "this is a very good and expectedly diverse" release.[8] Scott Fryberger of Jesus Freak Hideout rated the album three stars, stating that it is "just a radio playlist."[9] At, Kim Jones rated the album three-and-a-half stars, writing that "On all 13 tracks, he shares beautiful examples of finding hope in the pain, light in the darkness."[1] Jennifer E. Jones of Christian Broadcasting Network rated the album four spins, writing that "listeners will be encouraged that hard times are inevitable but God’s grace is everlasting."[4] At Cross Rhythms, Tom Lennie rated the album nine squares, saying it is "A beautiful, deeply moving batch of fresh songs from this most gifted of singer/songwriters."[7] Jeremy V. Jones of Christianity Today rated the album two stars, stating that "Unfortunately, a closer look behind Closer's soundtrack-ready pop production reveals more broad vagary than depth."[6] Melodic's Cor Jan Kat rated the album three-and-a-half stars, remarking that "The sound of the album is really good and producer Christopher Stevens gets the credits for that."[11] At Christian Music Zine, Tyler Hess rated the album two-and-a-half stars, writing that "Shawn McDonald's 'Closer' is not an album of personal triumph, but one of renewed joy in the midst of self-inflicted wounds."[5] Jono Davies of Louder Than the Music rated the album four stars, saying that McDonald "is a talented songwriter who has just created anoter [sic] really interesting album."[10] At The Phantom Tollbooth, Scott S. Mertens gave a positive review of the album, stating how the release contains "all the story telling, praise and worship, and musical prowess as previous efforts but with a much more polished pop sensibility."[12]

Commercial performance[edit]

For the Billboard charting week of April 9, 2011, Closer was the No. 170 most sold album in the entirety of the United States by the Billboard 200, and it was the No. 14 most sold Top Christian Album.

Track listing[edit]

Album release
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Better Way" Shawn McDonald, Jake Smith, Christopher Stevens 3:56
2. "Hope" McDonald, Joy Williams 3:15
3. "Closer" Ben Glover, McDonald 3:23
4. "Faithful" Glover, McDonald 3:25
5. "The Space Between Us" Glover, McDonald 3:40
6. "Something Real" Jason Ingram, McDonald, Stevens 3:44
7. "Control" Josh Garrels, McDonald, Stevens 3:48
8. "Don't Give Up" McDonald 4:25
9. "Rise" McDonald 4:27
10. "Eyes Forward" McDonald, Stevens 3:38
11. "Storms" McDonald 4:07
12. "Mystery" McDonald 4:24
Total length: 46:12



Chart (2011) Peak
US Billboard 200[13] 170
US Christian Albums (Billboard)[14] 14


Year Single Peak chart positions
US Christian
2011 "Closer" 15
"Rise" 18


  1. ^ a b Jones, Kim (March 22, 2011). "Shawn McDonald - Closer CD Review". Retrieved April 24, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b Johnson, Jared (March 22, 2011). "Closer - Shawn McDonald | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". Allmusic. Retrieved April 24, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b Aspinwall, Grace S. (March 1, 2011). "Shawn McDonald: Closer (Label)". CCM Magazine. Retrieved April 24, 2014. 
  4. ^ a b Jones, Jennifer E. (March 22, 2011). "Closer by Shawn McDonald". Christian Broadcasting Network. Retrieved April 24, 2014. 
  5. ^ a b Hess, Tyler (March 22, 2011). "Shawn McDonald – Closer (Review)". Christian Music Zine. Retrieved April 24, 2014. 
  6. ^ a b Jones, Jeremy V. (March 22, 2011). "Shawn McDonald: Closer". Christianity Today. Retrieved April 24, 2014. 
  7. ^ a b Lennie, Tom (August 15, 2011). "Review: Closer - Shawn McDonald". Cross Rhythms. Retrieved April 24, 2014. 
  8. ^ a b Hoskins, Kevin (March 15, 2011). "Shawn McDonald, "Closer" Review". Jesus Freak Hideout. Retrieved April 24, 2014. 
  9. ^ a b Fryberger, Scott (February 22, 2011). "Shawn McDonald, "Closer" Review: Second Staff Opinion". Jesus Freak Hideout. Retrieved April 24, 2014. 
  10. ^ a b Davies, Jono (April 13, 2011). "Reviews - Shawn McDonald - Closer". Louder Than the Music. Retrieved April 24, 2014. 
  11. ^ a b Kat, Cor Jan (March 22, 2011). "Shawn McDonald - Closer". Melodic. Retrieved April 24, 2014. 
  12. ^ Mertens, Scott S. (May 5, 2011). "McDonald, Shawn - Closer". The Phantom Tollbooth. Retrieved April 24, 2014. 
  13. ^ "Shawn McDonald – Chart history" Billboard 200 for Shawn McDonald. Retrieved April 24, 2014.
  14. ^ "Shawn McDonald – Chart history" Billboard Christian Albums for Shawn McDonald. Retrieved April 24, 2014.
  15. ^ "Shawn McDonald Album & Song Chart History - Christian Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved April 24, 2014.