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).