Crowder: American Prodigal

There are few artists in the Christian recording business who have had the cross-generational impact as legendary worship leader and song writer, David Crowder. Crowder’s fledgling solo era under the “Crowder” name has so far been a rousing success.
American Prodigal, Crowder’s second solo effort, is a bit more centered musically within the genre as Crowder takes fewer risks, but this album still successfully steers clear of any form of mediocrity. The theme of the promise of an eternity above for a sinful human race is woven dynamically throughout the enormous 16 track deluxe version of the release.
Crowder’s use of his Texas, southern-fried rock influence is all over this album. Songs like, “Keep Me,” “All You Burdens,” and “Shouting Grounds,” are all along this vein, with the best of these being “Run Devil Run,” which is peppy swamprock southern ditty that features some great guitar work over driving snappy drum beats. “Forgiven” is a big worship anthem that was clearly made for radio play, yet features a few guest rappers, which seems to be the new thing to do. Interestingly, even Crowder himself adopts a bit of their brand of rap style in “Keep Me,” as he semi-raps a couple of times. “All My Hope” mixes that well known rasp of Crowder’s tenor with a gospel piano that takes the listener straight to a Sunday morning southern gospel worship experience.

“All We Sinners” has a hymn quality that could be a wonderful song surrounding a time of confession and absolution that points worshipers to the empty grave. The saving power of the Gospel is in full effect as Crowder shouts…. “Saved, we are saved, the gates of heaven wide open. Saved, we are saved, the keys to the grave have been stolen”.

Personally, I loved this album, mostly because not only have I been a Crowder fan for years, but also because I loved how many tracks were steeped in the southern rock/Gospel music style that really connects with me for some reason. I could have done without all the guest rap parts, but I know he does that in his live shows and is trying to connect to a different group of people, and that’s a good thing. Overall, this album isn’t as quirky and different as Neon Porch, and that will disappoint some, but I appreciate that David Crowder wants to write music that first honors God, and second, connects people to their God across a wide array of ages and ethnicities. Most of the songs on this album are learnable by an average worship team and could be used in your Sunday morning set list. This album is entertaining, inspiring, and vertical. You will love it.

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