November 06, 2007

Review: David Crowder Bands' "Remedy"

I've gotten a chance to listen to David Crowder Band's latest CD called "Remedy" more. I mentioned earlier that this was a bad CD, as several have pointed out I said "to avoid it like the plague", but after listening to it several times I think I can give it much fairer review. We had been cramped and frustrated in a car, waiting in line at the US-Canada border the first time I had heard the CD, and therefore my previous assessment may have been a little too harsh.

By the way, if you're looking for a more scathing review of the album, check out CCM's take on it here. His review sounded a lot like mine for "A Collision".

I would say the fairest comparison is Crowder's breakout album, "Illuminate". "Remedy" has a lot of upbeat songs and there is a heavy use of computer effects and electronics. Best way to describe most of his songs are that they are "busy". If you listen to track 7 you'll know exactly what I'm talking about. If you're into that kind of thing you'll like this album a lot. They do a good job of not going too over the top with it, and mix it well with the usual band instruments. The first time you listen you might think it's a bit much -- but it grows on you.

One thing evidently missing from this CD are useless tracks of people walking up and down stairs, or whistling, or a phone conversation. That's a good thing. Little interludes like that bring no value to an album and fortunately for us, "Remedy" has none of these fillers. (Remedy is nothing like A Collision).

The music in "Remedy" sounds fresh because it doesn't follow the usual Christian Music formula that all the other worship leaders follow. It's very different and feels "new" -- although not necessarily ground-breaking -- but at least it's not that 'same old thing' feeling with some other bands. The caveat is you can't really play any of the songs at church for worship.

Creativity (8/10) - David Crowder Band pushes the envelope when it comes to creativity. There is no other band like these guys in the Christian music scene. There is a strong mix of electronic stuff in with the usual band repertoire, making their music much edgier than the other Christian bands out there. This however is the bane of the band, as CCM points out, you know these guys are capable of so much more but for some reason they prefer to just make really noisy songs.
Worshipability (7/10) - There aren't very many songs on this album that I could see our church ever using in worship. Personal worship is another story. Even singalongability is low on this album, I'm just starting to figure out the lyrics after hearing the album about 20 times.
Value (9/10) - I bought the CD in the US for $5 less than it would have costed me in Canada. So yea, it was a good deal. It loses one point because of a couple songs in the album that already existed in previous ones.
Longevity (8/10) - One thing I find interesting (or is it more annoying?) that David repeats himself in his songs, several songs he repeats the same line over and over to the point where I want to punch something. I can understand you want to emphasize a point by repeating it, but this is a bit too much for me. I could see myself becoming violent, but thank goodness for FastForward. Due to DCB's catchy tunes, I can see myself listening to this CD off and on for the next few months at least.
Intangibles (9/10)- It's a nice little case, and not a hard plastic one. It's paper but it's sturdy and it's thinner than the average CD case. It's also got a neat cover and a different slot for which the lyrics come out.

Overall: 41/50

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