|Crowder Returns with Strong Follow-Up to Neon Steeple | Posted October 29, 2016
~~After a successful sixteen-year run leading the David Crowder Band that ended in 2012, David Crowder, now known simply as Crowder, released Neon Steeple in 2014, one of my favorite albums of that year. He returns now with American Prodigal, and what he calls “swamp pop”. The album features recurring themes of sin and forgiveness, chains, freedom, being a prodigal and Heaven. Below are a few thoughts about each of the songs on the Deluxe edition of the album, one of my favorites of the year:
American Intro – This brief minute and a half opener features Crowder with a simple piano backing. He wants Heaven to be opened and all of the angels of Heaven to sing along Come on Hallelujah!
Keep Me – This is a prayer to the Lord to keep him walking as the devil keeps calling him back. But the Lord keeps calling him home. It features a foot-stomping, hand-clapping, heavy beat, banjo, fiddle, good backing vocals and even some rapping by Crowder.
Run Devil Run – The first single, this is a rousing toe-tapping rocker. He sings that he has something that’s going to make the devil run. He has three (the Father, Son and Holy Spirit) and the devil has none. We have revival. A song that will really be fun in concert.
My Victory – Was included on the Passion album Salvation’s Tide is Rising. This is a great song that will be sung in churches around the world. It features more of a Passion band sound than Crowder’s usual “folktronica” sound. It starts slow and then builds to a powerful chorus and the line “A cross meant to kill is my victory”. Amen! One of my favorite songs of the year.
Prove It – This song features Christian rapper KB. It has a foot-stomping, driving beat. It’s about freedom. He sings that if you’re free, prove it. If not, loose the chains on your soul.
All Your Burdens – This song opens with banjo and then goes into a driving rocker with excellent guitar and drums. He sings that all his burdens weigh him down, but the chains will be broken and we shall overcome and have victory.
Back to the Garden – This song is from the perspective of Adam. He sings that he was born to be royal and made for glory, but was torn from the garden when the devil lied to him. It starts slow and builds powerfully. He longs to go back to the garden when he walked in the presence of God. The song features a blazing guitar solo.
Forgiven – A powerful worship song that begins with guitar and piano, then builds with banjo and drums. He sings that he was the one who held the nail, hid in the garden and denied Jesus with his lips. Despite this, we can receive God’s unconditional love and find freedom by falling to our knees and receive forgiveness from our sins.
Promised Land (Glory, Hallelujah) – This is a triumphant worship song featuring Crowder’s swamp sound. Who has the power (to save, heal, raise the dead, make me whole, etc.)? It’s his sweet Lord. He’s longing for the Promised Land. It features a rap from Christian rapper Tedashii, who will be touring with Crowder.
All My Hope – This song has the feel of an old-time gospel song. It opens with piano, and builds slowly with light drums and finishes with a great backing choir. He’s been held by Savior. All his hope is in Jesus. All of his sins are forgiven. He’s been washed by the blood. The chains are removed, he’s freed and forgiven. One of my favorites on the album.
Shouting Grounds – This song features the swamp pop sound. He should be dead but he’s alive. He’s a prodigal, who was lost but now is found. He wants to be taken to shouting grounds, where it’s going to get loud. No grave is going to hold him down. This is a triumphant, victory song. Features some Native American chanting toward the end of the song.
Shepherd – The worship song is an adaptation of the 23rd Psalm. It features banjo, light drums and backing vocals. When his heart is prone to wandering, Jesus shepherds him.
All We Sinners - Was also included on the Passion album Salvation’s Tide is Rising. The song begins and ends with acoustic guitar. It’s a triumphant song that starts slow and then builds. The keys to the grave have been stolen and the gates of heaven are open.
American Outro – Begins with him singing Come on Hallelujah from “American Intro”. He’s out of the ruins and back in communion with God. Starts with piano and builds. Includes some distorted vocals.
Praise the Lord – This song, written by Sean McConnell, features an acoustic guitar and builds gently. He sings that as he gets to know the Lord more, he realizes that He’s not who he thought He was. Praise the Lord!
Great Rejoicing - This celebratory worship song infectiously repeats the lines “There's gonna be, a great rejoicing”, and “There’s gonna be a great joy river”, as the troubles and tears of this world fade away. It features some excellent lead and backing vocals. It’s a wonderful song about that grand reunion.
American I/O – On this closer he repeats from American Intro and Outro the line Come on Hallelujah. He is out of the ruins and back to communion.
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