Archives For David Crowder

#mypeople

June 18, 2016 — Leave a comment
Ambrose of Milan

 

 

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The past week witnessed the debut of ‘Neon Steeple’. David Crowder’s first solo release.

In a post to his official Facebook page yesterday, Crowder explained the albums origins stating that:

‘Neon Steeple is a collection of songs and sounds looking forward to the past and counting the present as sacred. It is a search for home. It is a collection of choruses that believe this is not all there is. It is displacement and tension and the forward lean anticipating the resolution.’
(Source: CrowderMusicOfficial)

The melody, rhythm, Neon Steepletone, lyrical content and structure are all representative of Crowder’s signature vocals, theological insight and song writing abilities. All are present, even when placed outside the genius of his old band (now known as ‘The Digital Age’).

‘Neon Steeple’ delivers a pleasant, yet strange familiarity. This is not a country gospel album, yet songs like ‘Jesus is calling’, ‘This I know’ and ‘My Sweet Lord’ along with the consistent coupling of banjo and beat indicate that this album has country roots.

Highlights include ‘My Beloved’, ‘Come Alive’ and the classy bluegrass driven ‘Lift your head weary sinner (chains)‘. With track 7, ‘Hands of Love’,  Crowder sneaks in a clever fusion between the much older American Spiritual ”He’s got the whole world in his hands” with an electronic riff. Making a clear departure and return, away from and back towards the musical styles that form the backbone of this album.

Musically, ‘Neon Steeple’ is where ambition meets ability. From a ministry perspective it thunders forth, marching to a beat Crowder hears and communicates well. This is an album of melodic proclamation. It looks forward with anticipation and recollection. Calling to memory God’s fulfilment of His promise. One we come to hear, see and own in the texts which testify about Old Testament Israel and Jesus Christ.

In Crowder’s words:

‘Neon Steeple is both a critique and a hope. A narrative of  innocence lost, of displacement, of misplaced affections and misplaced people. It is the search for belonging and home and forgiveness and reconciliation, the tension of death and life leaning toward resolution, the promised land of what it means to come to life. The story is not about making bad people good, it is about making dead people alive. This is Promised Land. This is Redemption. This is Reorientation. This is Resolution.’
(Source: CrowderMusicOfficial)

As disappointing as it was to hear that the David Crowder*Band were closing a chapter on their collaboration, there are no audible creative strains that might suggest Crowder, or the Digital Age for that matter, are worse off for having parted ways.

Both have now proven without a doubt that they are the musical and liturgical heavy weights, most of their admirers know them to be.

 

{No payment of any kind was exchanged for this review}

Coming from near on twelve years experience in the Australian Christian retailing industry I am always interested in new things that the Church is co-creating.

Some albums that captured our attention recently are:

1. Kim Walker-Smith and Skyler Smith’s ‘Home’

An album from a Husband and Wife team which commands attention. ‘Christ the Rock, Relentless Pursuit, Your Voice & Unstoppable Love’ has been on high rotation in our house for a few weeks now.

2. ‘Let the future begin’: (Passion 2013)

We are big on David Crowder’s ability to fuse theology and music in a powerfully unique way. Consequently we are always keen to hear his contribution to the Passion enterprise. The one song from this event that really grabs you is ‘My Beloved’ – which can be heard here. Unfortunately iTunes only has this available when you purchase the album online – I presume that this is because the deluxe CD/DVD edition, not the standard CD, is the only other way to purchase the song. Despite the absence of an audio version of ‘My Beloved’ a few high points of the standard album are Kari Jobe ‘Revelation Song’ – Chris Tomlin ‘Whom shall I fear’ & David Crowder ‘Here’s my heart’. Having said this, there is more to the album that makes a wise addition to any cruisey compilation for that Friday evening, sunny Saturday or silent Sunday afternoon.

3. Granted the Newsboys album ‘Born Again’ is a 2010 release, I’ll confess I had overlooked it in favour of ‘God’s Not Dead (2011)’ – this was primarily because I found G.N.D (the song) to be more of an inspirational guide at the time. It had helped me unpack a theme in one of my undergraduate research papers on Pneumatology (Holy Spirit). I recently picked this CD up for under $10. Born Again highlights the artistic flexibility of these musical geniuses. Press play…hit repeat…and turn it up until the kids say turn it down.