David Crowder is nothing short of an established worship leader today. But while a lot of modern worship relies mostly on simplistic melodies and choruses to make them easy to worship along to, David Crowder presses forward and through the masses, leaving no room for the redundant or mundane. And this is all easily noticeable with his choice of production team members which include the talented Charlie Peacock and the surprising Zach Lind of mainstream act Jimmy Eat World. So what is the outcome? Something a little bit different and a pleasure to listen to.
"Sparks Fly" is a brief introduction to David Crowder Band's sophomore project Illuminate as it gives the impression that the record will merely be a subdued acoustic project, however an abrupt electronic ending to the track gives way to "Revolutionary Love," an upbeat worship tune that mixes synth sounds (almost a la Joy Electric at times) with an anthemic pop/rock melody. "O Praise Him (All This For A King)" is a popular worship favorite in the making as it first appeared on the latest Passion project last month, Sacred Revolution: Songs From OneDay03. While the fast-paced pop elements may seem familiar for the most part, "O Praise Him" is a captivating track and a highlight on Illuminate. "Open Skies" portrays less of a typical worship sound while lyrically remaining nothing less and musically offering a catchy pop/rock song that is guaranteed to find its way into your mind on "repeat."
"Intoxicating" and "How Great" are more intricate and notable worship songs while "No One Like You" adds a thicker rock spin that is followed up by the brief reprise and offers a more toned down and intimate rendition. "All Creatures #2" is a follow-up rendition of a track from their 2002 debut release Can You Hear Us?. This rendition has a simplistic yet delicate feel that makes it a more personal song of praise from the listener to our Father. "Only You" and "Deliver Me" keep the sound melodic and contemplative. Crowder and company utilize more instrumentation and unique sounds than the norm for worship music today, adding a strong sense of worship not only through Spirit and word, but musically through the song itself. It's a complete worship package and it makes each song much more powerful on every level.
Illuminate not only is an excellent worship record and one of the best in the genre released this year, but easily solidifies Crowder's position as one of the foremost leaders in modern worship music today. If you're tired of some of the same music and are eager for something a little different and a joy to listen to from start to finish, David Crowder Band's sophomore release Illuminate is a project you won't want to overlook this Fall.- Review date: 9/15/03, written by John DiBiase
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