Album Review :
David Crowder Band - All This For a King: The Essential Collection

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Artist: David Crowder Band
Title: All This For A King: The Essential Collection
Label: Sixsteps/Sparrow Records
Release Date: 5/21/13
Reviewer: Jonathan Andre

Tracklisting:

  1. O Praise Him
  2. Our Love is Loud
  3. Open Skies
  4. Here is Our King
  5. Wholly Yours
  6. How He Loves (Radio Version)
  7. You Alone
  8. Everything Glorious
  9. The Glory of it All
  10. SMS {Shine} (Radio Version)
  11. Shadows (FF5 Phenomenon Remix)
  12. After All (Holy) (Capital Kings Remix)
  13. No One Like You (The Digital Age Remix)
  14. This I Know (New Track)

David Crowder, probably just as much as worship leader Chris Tomlin, has delivered some great melodies throughout his time with the DC*B, with their career spanning over a decade before the band members amicably decided to part ways. With David Crowder releasing a solo album at the end of 2013 under the title ‘Crowder’ (as well as 4 other members of DC*B forming alternative-worship band The Digital Age signing to Fair Trade Services to release their debut album Evening: Morning in August this year); life is busy for the members of the David Crowder Band. While everyone that have ever listened to the band and enjoyed their music were shocked when David Crowder announced the band would split up after their appearance at the 2012 Passion Conferences Event early January, fans were soon delighted to see that even though the band did split didn’t necessarily mean the members would walk away from music altogether. With two now very respectable bands (The Digital Age and ‘Crowder’) springing from one of Christian worship music’s most revolutionary bands (since Delirious?) in the whole history of Christian worship music, this DC*B album release more than a year after they called it quits is nothing like a sad goodbye but rather an embracing of their career, as well as a look ahead into what Crowder will release in his first solo album. Ending the 14 track best-of collection with his brand new song ‘This I Know’, these 10 favourite songs, 1 new song and 3 remixes are sure to bring up a sense of nostalgia whenever people listen to it. A great purchase for any casual fan of DC*B who wants to listen to more from this spectacular and one of the most revolutionary bands of the decade; yet if you are an avid fan of Crowder and his music (and have all album releases digitally, physically or otherwise), then purchasing the final four tracks via iTunes would probably be your safest bet. Regardless, this collection of songs as a great, albeit short representation of the DC*B career, and while some songs are shockingly missing, on the whole, this is a greatest hits project destined to stand out this year. A reminder of the legacy of the band, All This For a King: The Essential Collection showcases some of my favourite David Crowder songs ever!

Glancing through the song lineup for this greatest hits album, there are many song standouts that have charted great success throughout the career of David Crowder and his band. ‘O Praise Him’, ‘Here is Our King’, ‘Our Love is Loud’ and ‘Everything Glorious’ are all represented from the albums Illuminate, A Collision, Can You Hear Us? and Remedy respectively. The powerful guitar hooks in ‘Everything Glorious’ and the hopeful and poignant declarations of ‘O Praise Him’ are just as encouraging and uplifting now as it was when the songs were first recorded. The nostalgia of ‘Our Love is Loud’, alongside the lesser known song also on the 2002 album ‘You Alone’, give us great moments of reminiscence as we sit back and listen to some of the band’s greatest hits throughout their career and realise why they (along with Delirious?) pioneered and revolutionised the whole worship genre altogether during the last 15-20 years or so. Their most famous cover ‘How He Loves’ (originally written by indie artist John Mark McMillan) is a standout, not only on their original 2009 album Church Music, but also on this album as well. The radio version of ‘SMS (Shine)’ with an explosive electric guitar introduction only previously heard on WOW Hits 2012 is now released to David Crowder enthusiasts and compilation-haters alike as they hear perhaps a better version of a song that reminds us that God shines His light into the darkest places of our lives.

One of my favourite songs on A Collision (‘Wholly Yours’) continues to impress me all those years later, and while I also would’ve expected the band to include ‘A Beautiful Collision’ or even ‘We Win’ or ‘You are My Joy’ on the album, ‘Here is Our King’ and ‘Wholly Yours’ are still worthy representatives from one of my favourite albums from DC*B. ‘Open Skies’ is a great song from Illuminate, yet I felt that ‘Revolutionary Love’, ‘How Great’ and ‘Stars’, all from Illuminate, were sorely missed. ‘Shadows’, ‘No One Like You’ and ‘After All (Holy)’ were all remixed with a mixed bag of results (my favourite version was the Digital Age’s remix rendition of ‘After All (Holy)’), and are great for the David Crowder enthusiast who remembers the original songs and likes to hear the remix versions to see how they would go, but if this album was pitched to more casual enthusiasts of the band, I would’ve also included the original versions as well as the remixes, added a few more songs in, and making the album double-disc. ‘Let Me Feel You Shine’ was surprisingly absent from the 14 track supposedly best-of-the-best radio hits, while the songs ‘neverending’, ‘Never Let Go’ and the title track from Remedy were also possibly narrowly omitted from the elite group of songs. The bluegrass hymn ‘I Saw the Light’ is fantastically covered by the band, and while I may have expected this omission from the song lineup, what I didn’t expect was the glaring exclusion of ‘Foreverandever etc.’- one of my own personal favourites from A Collision. Rounding out the album is the acoustic-country-folk ‘This I Know’, a hymn-like song written by Crowder himself as he readies for his debut album later on this year. Describing about his convictions and staking his own claim about what he knows about the gospel and what he believes to be true, this is an excellent end to an album that when analysed to a tee, can reveal itself to have a few drawbacks and flaws, much like Chris Tomlin’s greatest hits album that he released in 2012.

Overall: With only 14 tracks, there are songs bound to miss out, and some songs chosen over others that I would’ve thought were more worthy. Despite all the songs which I mentioned that weren’t included, I am still pleased with the choices they made with reference to picking greatest hits. With the album possibly being geared towards casual lovers of the band rather than die-hard fans; the album can either be purchased digitally or physically, depending on individual’s preferences. With both The Digital Age and Crowder releasing new material later on in 2013, this album certainly whets our musical appetite as we wait in anticipation for possibly some of the most progressive and experimental CCM music of the year so far. Despite my heavy analysis, this is an album certain to look at if you enjoy worship from Passion, Jesus Culture or Hillsong. As we are shown an era without the David Crowder Band, this album ought to remind us that even if bands break up (BarlowGirl is another example), their musical work can still be enjoyed years later. Well done David Crowder Band for your music ministry, and for sixsteps Records for releasing this compilation!

RIYL: Passion, Chris Tomlin, Hillsong, Jesus Culture

Buy the Album: iTunes/Amazon mp3

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