Looks can be deceiving. At first glance of David Crowder, your last guess might be that he were a worship leader. First might be a mad scientist. Heard live and on such projects as unstoppable Passion albums, Crowder releases his first project to call his own, Can You Hear Us? under the moniker David Crowder Band.
Crowder's tame and fragile vocals carry each track from delicate ballads like the opener "I Hear Words" to joyous pop tunes like the traditional sounding "Our Love Is Loud." "You're Everything" presents an interesting composition consisting of primarily acoustics occasionally accompanied by synths all the while complimenting Crowder's vocals. David's voice bares a strong resemblance to the lead singer of UK act Split-Level. While Split-Level had a completely different lyrical direction, it's clear where Crowder's heart is and he doesn't have a problem getting his feelings across to the listener.
One slight problem the album tends to suffer from is the fact it may seem all too familiar to the listener. Like Redman, Tomlin, and at times even Delirious?, Crowder band continues the worship musical compositions that make the songs so appropriate for leading live worship, but may be a little monotonous on record. "You're Everything," "God of Creation," and "Wonderful King" all have a relatively similar sound. "All Creatures of Our God and King" begins nicely with a hymn feel before an electronic pulse debuts to slightly add a freshness to it. "God of Wrath" introduces a restrained guitar riff intro but the band hold it back from being the full-fledge rock song it sounds like it should be. Lyrically, the song serves as a simple reminder of how great and vast our Creator is as he cries, "God of wrath, God of love/ God of earth and God Above/ God of hope, God of peace/ God of you and God of me..."
Crowder offers a more stripped down and prayerful rendition of Delirious?' "Obsession," while "My Hope" continues the same vibe as the majority of the record, with the exception of a more catchy and addicting chorus. The album closes with the Sinead O'Connor-penned "Thank You For Hearing Me" and Matt Redman's "Undignified." Even as the album halts with the hidden track "You Alone," Can You...'s finale is stronger and more exciting than most of the album preceding it. Just as it sounds like the band is getting warmed up, the album is over.
A worship album for the listener with a soft spot for the more mellow offerings, Can You Hear Us? by David Crowder Band may not be anything ground breaking, but it's a good start.- Review date: 7/12/02, written by J.D.
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