Reviewed by Oscar Hyde
At their height, the David Crowder Band were synonymous with worship as art. More than any other mainstream Christian band of the time, these six Texans took full advantage of the wonders of modern technology to create beautiful and fully cohesive worship albums based around concepts, not just arbitrary collections of songs. This budget line three-disc box set re-issue celebrates their heyday streak. First up is the sprawling 'A Collision', an album that dares to allude to nuclear fission as a metaphor for encounter with God, that describes God's love as "indelible" (footnoted and defined in the liner notes), that incorporates punk ("Foreverandeveretc"), hyperactive fiddle bridges ("You Are My Joy"), bluegrass ("I Saw The Light"), a reworked 18th-century minor-key hymn ("Our Happy Home"), dance ("We Win!") and even the beloved string works of Ralph Vaughan Williams, all broadly divided into four mood-movements. Second in this packaged trio is 'Remedy', a quieter, simpler intermezzo, though one that's not above blasting modern worship anthems such as pounding opener "The Glory Of It All", the inescapably catchy "Everything Glorious", or the raucously wailing "We Won't Be Quiet". Last in this trio is another extraordinarily ambitious work, 'Church Music', which begins with the oldest extant Christian hymn ("Phos Hilaron (Gladdening Light)") and from there seamlessly weaves through a roller-coaster history of liturgy, from a high-adrenaline rendition of an "Eastern Hymn" to the definitive cover of John Mark McMillan's "How He Loves". In between there's the contemplative, reassuring pop ballad "Shadows", the joyous disco of "Church Music (Dance!)" and a showstopping climax in the Revelation-quoting guitar-fest "God Almighty, None Compares", complete with duelling guitar solos. If you've never had the chance to experience the David Crowder Band, here's your chance.
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