Neon Steeple


Six Steps Records, 2014

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


Out of the ashes of the David Crowder Band comes this first solo effort that Crowder declares as 'folk-tronica.' Not being versed in Christian music, I really couldn't tell you if that sub-genre has infiltrated that audience yet. However, as most of us know, folk-tronica is becoming one of the most saturated labels in today's version of indie rock. With that said, how much could Crowder really have to offer? If we were going by sales I'd have to say a whole lot; my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Neon Steeple sold 22,000 copies the first week it was out. That's nothing to spit at these days. Of course, I've never been one to associate units sold with great music.

The opener “Neon Intro” is a little ambiguous, maybe purposely so, and leads right into the hand clapping, campfire-esque of “My Beloved,” which abruptly darts into electronic fun. If this is what Crowder means by describing the album as 'folk-tronica', well, he isn't lying. “I Am” keeps the synth alive before building into anthemic, uplifting rock. Apparently this tune topped the Christian Music charts and it's understandable why; it's an ideal pick me up tune with mass appeal.

The album shifts gears numerous times toward the middle. “Lift Your Head Weary Sinner (Chains)” is a full on rocker, and the slide guitar in the Hank Williams tune “Jesus Is Calling” would be right at home being played at a party in a barn. The abrupt piano led “Come As You Are” is a powerful ballad, sandwiched between louder, soaring rock.

Near the end, Emmylou Harris lends her flawless pipes on “My Sweet Lord,” providing some always needed vocal harmonies, and things change direction again with the dance club friendly “You Are.” Not exactly folk-tronica, this one veers right into electro-pop and is probably the biggest surprise here.

If you're someone who cannot tolerate songs with religious references, steer clear of this, as heaven, Lord and similar Christian themes are impossible to avoid. However, if you're someone who appreciates diverse, unusual and interesting songs that avoid predictable and trite ideas, dive right into Crowder’s music.

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2014 Tom Haugen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Six Steps Records, and is used for informational purposes only.