Sunday, October 02, 2005

A Collision Or (3+4=7) Reviewed

If I had to review the new David Crowder Band album in one word, the word would be this: brilliant.  A few more and I might throw in: daring, beautiful, postmodern.  Since it’s my blog and I get as many words as I want, I’ll elaborate.

The band’s website helps me a little in understanding the cd, although the work itself gives a careful listener plenty of hints.  The website lists us some themes: an eschatological statement regarding death, mortality, good and evil, the second coming, the raising of the dead, oppression, deliverance, hope, bluegrass music, hiroshima, springtime, the quiet waiting that comes just before the loudest sound ever.

I think the real key to understanding A Collision is to view it as a whole.  There are individual parts that are gorgeous or rockin’ on their own and would stand outside the cd: O God Where Are You Now, Do Not Move, and Our Happy Home are among my favorites.  There’s some songs that will work in a worship service just as there were on previous Crowder albums: Come and Listen and Wholly Yours seem particularly apt for this.  But what’s really creative and interesting about A Collision is the way they weave things together.  The little tracks with blips of things to come or things past are the big hints to the throughlines of the album.  Although I think the biggest hint is the interview at the end mixed with the Lark Ascending.  It’s not so great if you’re listening to the cd in the background, but it is a little bit profound.  “why do you keep mentioning the year these people died?” “but most of the time I don’t feel like the Lark.”

For me the piece is mostly about the mystery of death and life.  It questions and marvels and sings and sits quietly.  It’s fantastic, but you have to be willing to think and listen carefully, because it’s unusual.  But I am swiftly falling in love with it, even as I am still trying to figure it out.  (If you want to talk about it with me more, I’m up for that).


Morgan said...

I completely agree. It really is brilliant. Now is this a concept album, or just an album? One thing I love about Crowder is that his CD's are like one giant song that just flows one into the next, this one being the most extreme probably.

Bob K said...

Almost every *good* album has a theme which reflects where the artist is when he or she is writing and recording the album. But a concept album is much more direct about the theme - the bar is raised on the connection between the individual songs and the theme. Crowder's album might be a concept album but at this point I'd be reluctant to say that - the four parts of the album (which are not clear from itunes and are called parts A, B, C and D) lead me to think that there is a specific theme going on in each subsection but I haven't decoded it yet. So, what are the themes of each section?

Bob K said...

Another listen on the way in to work this morning and I think the key is to listen to it in four parts (labeled A Part through D Part on the back of the CD). Each part is set off with an interlude of some sort and seems to have it's own theme - B Part, for example, is eschatology.

Cameron said...

Hi, I'm a completely random person that happened upon your review of A Collision Or (3+4=7). Anyways, I think one really cool thing about the CD is David Crowder's use of the numbers 3,4, and 7. There is actually a place on his website where he tells the significance of the numbers. They are hidden in his songs all over the place, i.e. in You Are My Joy, the phrase "You are my joy" is repeated four times and at the end of the song, they repeat those four lines three times. One other cool thing is that it's not like a "worship" CD in the sense that most people would think. But maybe it's more like real life worship, broken into sections with an overall theme hidden in it. Or maybe I'm just crazy.