David Crowder "American Prodigal" by Michael Tackett (cmaddict.com) on 2016-10-05 09:48:02
David Crowder, a veteran in the CCM world, is back with his second solo offering American Prodigal. While Crowder's last record, Neon Steeple was described as “folktronica” American Prodigal is described as “Swamp Pop.” Crowder has always set the bar pretty high when it comes to his releases. His thoughtful lyrics and sometimes, simple wit made it where you smiled, praised, and was in deep thought all at the same time. Musically, too, he always pushed the bar to where it never felt copied or unoriginal. Not a small feat for worship acts.
American Prodigal offers a new bold sound in some areas while in other areas backtracks a small bit on originality. On one hand, we have some of the most hard-hitting folk/guitar driven sounds we have ever heard from Crowder. Songs like "Shouting Grounds," "Keep Me and All My Burdens" will have your foot stompin’ and your head noddin’. Reach Record artists KB and Tedashii are a nice addition as they help keep the energy moving from the first half to the second half of the record.
On the other hand, Crowder offers new additions to his already impressive catalog of worship songs. Songs like "Back to the Garden," "All My Hope" and "All We Sinners" has Crowder at his best. Each one of these has perfect imagery of the redemption we have in Christ and musically fitting with the rest of the album.
However, there are a few tracks on American Prodigal that are the most radio friendly Crowder has ever done. Part of the reason it feels too CCM friendly is because Crowder has never taken the safe approach when it comes to his music. So to hear songs like "My Victory," "Forgiven," and "Shepherd" it feels almost out of place with the rest of the albums deeper lyrical and musical content.
One BIG thing to note is that the deluxe edition features two of the best tracks that even goes above some of the standard release tracks. "Praise the Lord" is a personal reflection where Crowder breaks away from his writing style a bit and is more of a confession of his own flaws. "Great Rejoicing" is such a rousing anthem and unique musically it’ll be a fan favorite in no time. If you can, I would highly suggest picking up the deluxe edition. You will not be disappointed.
Time will tell how American Prodigal fits in Crowder’s already lengthy cannon. (As a solo artist and as well as being part of DC*B) It may not be his best record to date but in a world where CCM is driven by radio play, Crowder is still a voice to those that are looking for more depth in their worship music. Make no mistake, American Prodigal will satisfy those who have been eagerly awaiting Crowder's next release and will for sure end up being one of the best releases of 2016.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Genre: Pop / Folk / Worship
Label: Six Step Records
Release Date: September 23, 2016
Buy it: Amazon - iTunes
American Intro (1:33)
Keep Me (4:03)
Run Devil Run (3:26)
My Victory (4:17)
Prove It [feat. KB] (2:36)
All You Burdens (2:25)
Back To The Garden (4:15)
Promised Land (Glory, Hallelujah) [feat. Tedashii] (4:48)
All My Hope (4:13)
Shouting Grounds (3:41)
All We Sinners (4:34)
American Outro (5:13)
Praise The Lord (4:13)
Great Rejoicing (3:43)
American I/O [feat. BT] (4:59)