Roots (Shawn McDonald album)

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Studio album by Shawn McDonald
Released March 11, 2008 (2008-03-11)
Genre CCM, Christian alternative rock, indie folk, roots rock
Length 49:58
Label Sparrow
Producer Christopher Stevens
Shawn McDonald chronology
Scattered Pieces: Live

Roots is the third studio album by American Christian singer-songwriter Shawn McDonald. The album was released on March 11, 2008 by Sparrow Records. This album was produced by Christopher Stevens. The album got commercial successes and positive reception.


The third studio album from American-Christian musician Shawn McDonald is entitled "Roots". The album was produced by Christopher Stevens, and it released on March 11, 2008 through Sparrow Records.[1]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4/5 stars[2]
CCM Magazine 3/5 stars[3]
The Christian Manifesto 3/5 stars[4]
Christian Music Review 8.1/10[5]
Christianity Today 4.5/5 stars[6]
Cross Rhythms 9/10 squares[7]
Jesus Freak Hideout 4/5 stars[8]
Melodic 2.5/5 stars[9]

Roots garnered generally positive reception from nine music critics ratings and reviews. At Christianity Today, Russ Breimeier rated the album four-and-a-half stars, remarking how the release "finds the rapidly burgeoning singer/songwriter becoming even more grounded in his creative abilities", and this makes it "easily his finest work to date."[6] Andree Farias of AllMusic rated the album four stars, stating that "Roots brings all of those elements together with far more focus and balance, adding a healthy dose of his trippy folk-pop approach and a dash of organic soul to create McDonald's most accomplished album to date."[2] At Cross Rhythms, Alastair McCollum rated the album nine squares, calling it "a near perfect CD".[7] Scott Fryberger of Jesus Freak Hideout rated the album four stars, saying that "Roots is definitely worth the money though, and if you like beautiful guitars and heartwarming melodies, it's a good addition to your collection."[8] At CCM Magazine, Matt Conner rated the album three stars, observing how the album has a misleading title and some mistakes on it, but did say that "Roots reaches new heights for an already impressive singer/songwriter."[3] Kaj Roth of Melodic rated the album two-and-a-half stars, calling this "an uneven affair."[9] At The Christian Manifesto, Calvin Moore rated the album three stars, writing that "'Roots' is definitely more commercially-viable, but I think he has stepped away from the sound that initially drew people to him", which "There is something to be found in 'Roots,' its just not likely what you’re expecting to find because you didn't know you were looking for it", and "In [all] actuality, this may be the genius of Shawn McDonald's music."[4] Barry Collins of Christian Music Review rated the album an 8.1 out of ten, saying that "This album is truly unique and carries a good message, but it could be missed if not listened to carefully."[5] At The Phantom Tollbooth, Ryan Ro gave a positive review of the album, stating that the release is not an album of the year candidate, however writes that McDonald "has delivered a winner that is enjoyable and, at times, indeed 'captivating.'"[10]

Commercial performance[edit]

For the Billboard charting week of March 29, 2008, Roots was the No. 198 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]

All tracks written by Shawn McDonald except where noted.

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Clarity" McDonald, Jon Foreman, Christopher Stevens 3:25
2. "Captivated" McDonald, Stevens 4:05
3. "Wash Me Clean" McDonald, Marc Byrd 3:44
4. "Shadowlands"   3:21
5. "Light"   4:27
6. "Waltz in 3"   4:42
7. "Roots"   4:28
8. "Slow Down"   2:37
9. "Greed"   3:14
10. "Time" McDonald, Stevens 3:40
11. "Winter"   5:34
12. "Hallelujah" McDonald, Foreman, Stevens 6:41
Total length: 49:58

Chart performance[edit]


Chart (2008) Peak
US Billboard 200[11] 198
US Christian Albums (Billboard)[12] 14


Year Single Peak chart positions
US Christian
2008 "Captivated" 27


  1. ^ "Roots: Shawn McDonald: Music". Retrieved 2012-03-07. 
  2. ^ a b Farias, Andree (March 11, 2008). "Roots – Shawn McDonald | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved April 25, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b Conner, Matt (March 1, 2008). "Shawn McDonald: Roots (Sparrow)" (PDF). CCM Magazine. p. 42. Retrieved April 25, 2014. 
  4. ^ a b Moore, Calvin E'Jon (May 9, 2008). "Shawn McDonald | Roots". The Christian Manifesto. Retrieved April 25, 2014. 
  5. ^ a b Collins, Barry (September 24, 2008). "Shawn McDonald "Roots"". Christian Music Review. New Release Tuesday. Retrieved April 25, 2014. 
  6. ^ a b Breimeier, Russ (March 11, 2008). "Shawn McDonald: Roots". Christianity Today. Archived from the original on September 3, 2009. Retrieved April 25, 2014. 
  7. ^ a b McCollum, Alastair (August 28, 2008). "Review: Roots – Shawn McDonald". Cross Rhythms. Retrieved April 25, 2014. 
  8. ^ a b Fryberger, Scott (March 10, 2008). "Shawn McDonald, "Roots" Review". Jesus Freak Hideout. Retrieved April 25, 2014. 
  9. ^ a b Roth, Kaj (March 11, 2008). "Shawn McDonald – Roots". Retrieved April 25, 2014. 
  10. ^ Ro, Ryan (June 17, 2009). "McDonald, Shawn – Roots". The Phantom Tollbooth. Retrieved April 25, 2014. 
  11. ^ "Shawn McDonald – Chart history" Billboard 200 for Shawn McDonald. Retrieved April 25, 2014.
  12. ^ "Shawn McDonald – Chart history" Billboard Christian Albums for Shawn McDonald. Retrieved April 25, 2014.
  13. ^ "Shawn McDonald Album & Song Chart History – Christian Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved April 25, 2014.