Artist: The Digital Age
Title: Rehearsals EP
Release Date: 6/5/12
Reviewer: Jonathan Andre
- How Great Thou Art
- After All (Holy)
- All the Poor and Powerless
- Oh My God (I Am A Seed)
- Never Grow Old
When David Crowder*Band played their last concert at Passion 2012, and released their last album aptly titled Give Us Rest; I was eager to see what was next for each of the members. Shortly not long after their parting, bassist Mike D, electric guitarist Jack Parker, drummer B-Wack and guitarist Mark Waldrop formed The Digital Age; and as they released their debut EP last Tuesday; I jumped at the chance to purchase it on iTunes. Watching each of their ‘digital age rehearsal’ videos that were posted online throughout these last few months (all of which are included on this 6 song EP); I can safely say that it feels like David Crowder*Band never parted, with The Digital Age standing tall as a candidate to replace their previous band, as the major contributor to musical experimentation in the Christian industry, along with other artists like Rend Collective Experiment and Gungor. Expect a bright future for these four men of God, with passionate worship a vital part of this EP; and as I listen to these lyrical treasures again and again; I can boldly claim that this is my favourite EP of 2012 so far!
‘After All (Holy)’ was originally a radio single on David Crowder*Band’s final album; and The Digital Age stay true to the original. With Mike D taking the helm of lead vocals for these 6 tracks is refreshing and particularly in this track, I was able to see how another person would sing a David Crowder song. As Mike sings out ‘…I can’t comprehend your infinitely beautiful and perfect love…’; I am amazed at how Mike never sang for the David Crowder*Band. With such a passion shown through the videos, Mike gives his all as he declares that God is holy, and that all we can do is never enough for a God who is infinitely more than we ever hope for. A track full of electronic loops, plenty of synths, as well as driving guitars, The Digital Age have perfected their own version of the song, to the point where I have enjoyed this version more than the original. Speaking about how the songs we sing are never loud enough for a God who pours out His infinite love; The Digital Age have me on board their ‘career train’ with just this song! Well done Mike D and the rest of the band for creating such a stellar musical moment!
‘Oh My God/I Am a Seed’, also on Give Us Rest; provides us a glimpse into the realm of country songs. A guitar riff that sends Mike D into passionate overdrive, singing ‘…King of glory oh my Jesus Christ, free me from what keeps me from your life, I can feel this heart beating inside, I don’t know when I felt more alive…’; I am able to worship freely as Mike D praises God in all his wonder, even with just a simple ‘…oh my God…’ Banjo heavy, this song is just a happy dancing praise song as ‘Oh My God’ moves into a medley with ‘I Am a Seed’, a declaration that all we are is nothing compared to Christ. That if we are a seed, than God is the tallest tree on earth! Jack Parker plays the banjo well as he uses his plucking skills to create this country-style track (similar to ‘I Saw the Light’ on David Crowder*Band’s A Collision). Though not so much a fan of country music; this song is able to work with so much power of honesty, giving praise to a God so worthy of it. Seeing Mike D, Mark Waldrop and Jack Parker passionately sing into the microphones on the video (to the point where their faces are redder!) is a sight to behold, as they worship with abandon , proclaiming that though they are a seed, they will rise like a tree, because ‘…You won’t turn Your back on me…’ A fun medley that gives a new appreciation for the banjo and all the musical styles it brings, these four men from The Digital Age have created a lyrically moving track that packs enough passion to provide listeners with a hope much bigger than ourselves that we can say ‘…oh my God…’ as well!
Throughout the rest of the album, The Digital Age incorporates some hymn-like songs into the lineup. ‘All the Poor and Powerless’ was originally written by David Leonard and Leslie Jordan for All Sons and Daughters and doesn’t stray much from the original. These get really passionate as Mike D and Mark Waldrop start so move from worship to screamo as they cry out to the Lord ‘…shout it, c’mon and scream it from the masses…that He is Lord…’ Showing us that worship is not necessarily for the quiet and reflective type; worship can be upbeat if it wants to, with passionate vocal enthusiasm one of the main traits throughout the song. ‘How Great Thou Art’, undoubtedly the most famous hymn after ‘Amazing Grace’, appears on this 6-track EP with plenty of guitars, electronics, percussion, as well enthusiastic voices praising God ‘…when Christ shall come with shouts of acclimation, and take me home, what joy shall fill my heart, and I shall bow in humble adoration, and then proclaim, ‘MY GOD HOW GREAT YOU ARE!’…’ What an amazing song to be included on an album full of passionate worship. Their rendition will sure hit the charts sooner rather than later! ‘Never Grow Old’ is a hymn in which the vocals are shared, each of the three verses sung by Mike D, Mark Waldrop and Jack Parker respectively. Speaking about how when we’ll go to Heaven, everything will be perfect and that we’ll ‘…never grow old…’; this simple yet effective melody shows us that what we have here is not the end, that our existence on this Earth count, not only throughout our lives but also in the next!
Overall: What can I say about The Digital Age? With the heart of their motivation and mission for the band summed up in their one-word-lyric opener ‘…Hallelujah…’; I am able to worship along with them, raising up the name of Jesus as I marvel and the musical and lyrical treasures incorporated on this 6-song journey! It’s certainly an ‘if’ (not when) that they’ll be signed to a label (hopefully sixsteps!). A certain purchase on iTunes, this is my favourite ‘new’ band of 2012!
RIYL: David Crowder*Band, Chris Tomlin, Leeland, Bellarive