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"Oh for Joy", David Crowder Band - Christmas Album Review

"Oh for Joy", David Crowder Band - Christmas Album Review

By Admin on December 05, 2011

As a consumer of music and a fan of all things music related, I find myself drawn to certain artists - not so much for their style or genre, but rather their character and personality individually and collectively. The David Crowder* Band is one such band. If the album cover of their latest Christmas release Oh For Joy doesn't intrigue you, certainly the unique yet recognizable delivery of classic holiday selections will.

The band has long been known for their ability to shape a genre to suite the message - even mixing styles such as bluegrass and techno - but in the end, I personally feel drawn into the arrangements. Oh For Joy contains skillful instrumentation, quirky styles and unique rhythms, but this release with live renditions of "O Holy Night", "Silent Night" and "Carol of the Bells" bring the best element of all: the audience. What better way to capture the essence of this timeless music but to include those who hold it dear.

Bringing the audience into the recording - including some playful dialogue before the final song - adds such a personal element to the recording and literally makes you feel as though you participated in the event. Unlike other live recordings which still have a performance feel, the dynamics of the arrangements, timing changes and introduction of even the banjo truly make this album memorable. "Carol of the Bells" is still one of my favorites and they perform it with the same detail and polish as the Trans-Siberian Orchestra.

I know I started by focusing on the end of the album, but rest assured that the other five songs do not disappoint. You will be instantly welcomed with a colorful arrangement of "Joy to the World" with fast echoing drum fills and racing slap delay guitar. What I also enjoyed about their arrangements are how they kept melody for the most part intact and only made departures in order to modify certain chord structures that compliment the original intent of the songs.

Another standout song for me surprisingly is "Go, Tell it on the Mountain". They make no apologies for their use of country and bluegrass with slight alterations in lyrics. I didn't find the changes took away from the song at all. In fact, I'd almost say I like it better! You will find yourself wanting to stomp your feet - even if you're not a huge fan of this style.

Overall, as a lover of Christmas music, I'm impressed by this album and the variety it brings, while carefully keeping the songs true to their original intent. In true "Crowderband" fashion, they have hit the mark and carefully combined fun, energy, humor, serious reflection and with all of that, still help the listener truly worship the Savior.

(review copy provided by record label)

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