I feel every art medium has a defining work, a work that collective people look back on with almost a sense of esteem and reverence. Not anything God-like or worshipful, just a sense of awe that something so good can even exist. For movies, this was Citizen Kane. For video games, this was The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. For art, this was the Mona Lisa. And for Christian worship music, it was David Crowder Band’s A Collision.
First, if you’ve never listened to the album as a whole, WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU? Load up Spotify and listen to the thing. It’s great! But what makes it so great? We can’t just all go out and tell everyone on the street that the album is wonderful and then not know why.
Well, I have one word for you to consider. Complex. The album is very, very complex. It’s not hard to understand, it’s simply complex in depth. As long as you are listening to the album, you always seem to have the impression that there is something just a little to great for you to completely understand going on.
Maybe that’s what makes it so great. Even die hard Crowder fans such as myself don’t get all the complexities on this album.
It’s also long. The album is long. 21 tracks and 73 minutes long, to be exact.
The album’s main theme is death, so it seems strangely appropriate to cover Loretta Lynn’s classic Everybody Wants to go to Heaven to introduce the album. Regardless, the way it’s covered seems kind of odd, as it’s all disproportionate and chaotic. This blends into what may the the most beautifully simplistic piano and string piece I’ve ever heard. Come and Listen is one of my favorite tracks on the record. It is just pure spiritual fulfillment. As you listen, you reflect on the beauty of God and the wonder of your salvation. It’s a pure song of praise.
Next is Here is Our King. I’ll admit… I never completely got this song. Our of all the songs on this album, I kind of wish this one didn’t become the mega-hit it did. There’s no easy answer as to what the verses mean. It is, however, a great song with a wonderful electronic soundscape.
Following that is the song I wish WAS the mega-hit that Here is Our King is. Wholly Yours is a song about grace, with beautiful lyrics. The song reflects a Christians desire to be holy, only the realize that by God’s grace we are holy through Him.
Foreverandever Etc… is one of the catchiest songs I’ve ever heard. It’s so fun, and the andeverandeverandever sequence and the end is funny and amazing at the same time.
After a simple violin segment, the album transistions to what I consider the meat of the album. A Beautiful Collision carries the one of the themes of this album, divinity and depravity. Our human nature is canceled out by God’s divine nature.
Crowder loves surprise, and the first time the album went from the electronic rock of Collision to the gospel song Soon I Will Be Done With the Troubles of the World, I was definitely surprised. Then it goes back to electronic rock again with Be Lifted or Hope Rising. Well, for a little while. At the end of the song, it suddenly transitions to blugrass. At that point, I’m like “Oh my goodness…” This is followed up by a killer version of I Saw the Light, complete with original lyrics at the end. The strangest thing is that all of these genre shifts work so well. It’s just incredible the versatility of the Crowder Band.
Next on the agenda, things slow WAY down with an introspective cover of Sufjan Stevens’ song Oh God Where are You Now. This song is about brokenness, and sets the mood for the next part of the album, which is very death related. Before we get there is B Quiet Interlude, which repeats the same lyrics at a louder and louder volume.
Do Not Move is next. This is one of my favorite songs on the record. It is also one of the most mysterious. I’ve always interpreted it as a person watching the crucifixion of Jesus Christ from afar. He watched as Jesus breathes in deeper until he gives his final breath. Then he realizes the implications of what Jesus did on the cross.
Come Awake is the closest DC*B has ever come to anything other than a spiritual concept. It brings comfort to anyone struggling with death. Crowder’s voice is at it’s most broken here, and it compliments the song perfectly.
Next comes You Are My Joy. This is one of my favorite songs to listen too. When have you ever heard a worship band jam out like this one? Afterwards we have Our Happy Home, definitely the darkest song on the album musically. The juxtaposition of happy lyrics and dark music make the song downright creepy. I’m not sure what it means, but is sends chills down my spine.
After some noise, we come to We Win! This is a song of victory of Christians everywhere. Jesus has conquered sin! Follow this up with another favorite, Rescue is Coming. The quiet electronic symphony is accompanied by the promise that rescue from this life will come eventually.
Finally, this epic album is capped off not by some big glorious musical number, but instead by A Conversation. This helps to answer a few questions, and create about a hundred more. But that’s okay…
So, besides its incredible music and its amazing lyrics, I love A Collision because it’s constantly getting me to think. There is so much more than meets the eye with this album, and that’s the beauty of it.
As I review albums in the future, you may find I start giving them ratings in the form of numbers. The numbers will be given on a scale of 1 to 10. A Collision is the best album I’ve ever heard, and until I hear a better one, all other albums will be compared to this one. This is a 10.1. It will be reduced to 10 if and only if another album takes it’s place at 10.1.
I could go on and on with how great the album is, so I may do a follow-up some day. But for now, let’s just leave it at this… BEST ALBUM EVER!