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Slow down as you approach the gate, and have your change ready....
Artist: David Crowder Band
Label: sixstepsrecords / Sparrow Records
Time: 18 tracks / 1: 13
I don't know if David Crowder gets odder or just more innovative as time goes by but he sure gets your attention! His most recent album A Collision starts off with an abbreviated version of Loretta Lynn's "Everybody Wants to Get to Heaven." The track sounds like an old record complete with scratches. If you have been following the career of the David Crowder Band, then this album will be an eye opener. Once labeled a worship band, Crowder and company have proved on their last few excursions that they are prepared to color outside the lines.
The band's versatility and excellence is on display with A Collision, a CD that includes stylish pop, worship, and bluegrass treaties. I must admit to not being overly awed with Crowder's last CD Sunsets and Sushi, but he got my attention with the single "Turkish Delight" on the Chronicles of Narnia album. A Collision provides further proof that the often enigmatic Crowder deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as the top artists of our day.
”For the past two years, I have ended most nights in concert with the following statement: ‘When our depravity meets His divinity, it is a beautiful collision.’ This recording is about that collision,” says Crowder.
The title track "A Beautiful Collision" makes good use of reverb effects and echoes. It is a song with so many layers I played it repeatedly and found a new treasure with each listening experience.
The opening track "Come and Listen" reminds us of the introspective stage John Lennon went through when he wrote "Imagine." It is a contemplative song with lyrics that invite the listener to listen to the singer's story of his journey with God. The attitude and music seem to suggest the singer is in a reflective mood as much as he is prepared to share his story.
From "Come and Listen" we move into the pop worship track "Here is Our King," a single already released to radio. As the month of October drew to a close "Here is Our King" occupied the number seventeen slot on R&R's Christian National Airplay Charts.
For a band that has spent its career being categorized as a worship or pop band, Crowder is spending a lot of time coloring outside the lines with his recent projects. The album has several unique interludes such as "Soon I Will Be Done With the Troubles of the World," an African-American spiritual.
"Be Lifted or Hope Rising" can best be described as a moody rock number that suddenly transitions into a barn dance complete with fiddling. This track is immediately followed by Hank Williams Sr's "I Saw The Light," complete with hand clapping and more fiddle music. The Waco Texas band accompanied by country great Marty Stuart plunges you into the heart of a bluegrass tune. Williams' song has been adapted to include a verse added by the late Johnny Cash and another one added by Crowder. The song was recorded in Cash's cabin outside Nashville.
The ambience of a barn dance wasn't created through studio tricks. The music was actually recorded in the barn behind Crowder's house in Waco, Texas. He had documented the four weeks of recording with webcams and decided to extend an invitation to those watching to join the band for a BBQ and group singing of "I Saw the Light." The invitation was accepted, and fans responded from several states.
I hope you are not expecting your reviewer to discuss each of the songs on this CD because with eighteen tracks (not counting the brief interludes) the recording is easily the best value for your money this autumn.
For those of you who are still more comfortable with Crowder's worship music, there is plenty of that to be found on this album as well. Sufjan Stevens' gentle "Oh God Where Are You Now" petitions God to make Himself known. It is reminiscent of many of the Psalms.
"B Quiet Interlude" an anonymous Folk hymn from the 17th century provides God's answer to the aforementioned questioning of his whereabouts. It is a call to wait upon the Lord and be patient.
The slow moving "Come Awake" points us to the hope of eternal life. The music is in juxtaposition to the lyrics. Sonically, this is a moody song with hopeful words. I preferred "Our Happy Home" and the rockier "We Win" and expect "We Win" to become a crowd favorite at concerts.
By Joe Montague, exclusive rights reserved
Joe Montague is an internationally published journalist / photographer. His ministry is dedicated to the memory of his late son Kent David Montague who went to heaven at the age of 18. All copyright and distribution rights remain the property of Joe Montague.
David Crowder Band is one of the most popular praise and worship bands in Christian Music right now. The band has toured with Michael W. Smith and Delirious? and continues to tour extensively as part of the Passion Movement. The band also records with the Passion Movement, in addition to their own projects, the latest of which is A Collision.
With A Collision the band has managed to release one of the most eclectic sounding praise and worship records of recent memory. The album does have the traditional praise and worship songs, such as "Here Is Our King." "Soon I Will Be Done With the Troubles of the World" feels like an old spiritual. "I Saw the Light" will remind listeners of the old down-home bluegrass festivals that are held in abandoned warehouses or farmhouses. The project does also have slow songs including "O God Where Are You Now?."
With A Collision David Crowder Band has managed to not only release one of the best praise and worship albums of recent memories but also one of the best albums of the year.
Burton Wray 3/18/2006