Album Review for “Give Us Rest” by David Crowder Band

David Crowder Band is a household name within the Christian music community. Originating from Waco, TX, David Crowder began playing worship music for University Baptist Church as a way to minister to students attending Baylor University. As time went on, Crowder and his band started to record their worship songs. Their first major-label album, “Can You Hear Us?” was released in 2002. Since then, David Crowder Band has won multiple Dove Awards, been nominated for a Grammy, and inspired thousands of people to deepen their relationship with God.

In February of 2011, the band announced that they would record and release their sixth studio album and call it quits as a band. “Give Us Rest (A Requiem Mass in C [The Happiest of All Keys])” is the band’s final release; a double-album that shot to #2 on the Billboard 200 chart and #1 on the Billboard Christian Albums chart.

“Give Us Rest” is very much a concept album revolving around a Requiem Mass, a mass which is celebrated for the rest of the soul of someone who has died. The 34-track record is broken down into sections: The Entrance, The Plea, The Plight, The Sequence, The Invocation, The Consummation and The Memory, and the Absolution.

Musically, the songs on “Give Us Rest” are an eclectic bunch. The tracks include pop-rock and electronic driven anthems (“God Have Mercy,” “Fall On Your Knees”), heartfelt praise songs (“Why Me?” “Sometimes,” “Oh Great God, Give Us Rest”), bluegrass and folk inspired tunes (“Oh My God,” “I Am A Seed”), and covers of classic hymns (“Leaning on the Everlasting Arms,”  “’Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus”). On the first disc, Sequences 1-7 showcase David Crowder Band’s musical capability with some impressive, experimental instrumentals. These range from haunting chants in Latin to the ethereal and acoustic to the guitar-laced and gritty.

The second disc is more cohesive as a whole. Each song on this side is solid, catchy and could easily be sung in church. Crowder’s writing is creative and honest. He sings with vulnerability, often conveying feelings of restlessness or confusion. Still, he always remains positive and God-honoring.

In the closing track, “Because He Lives,” the band sings a simple and soft song about God’s faithfulness: “Because He lives I can face tomorrow, because He lives all fear is gone, because I know He holds the future, and life is worth the living just because He lives.” It’s a curious conclusion to an album full of upbeat rock numbers and grandiose choir-sung choruses. Yet, perhaps it displays David Crowder Band’s view of not only the end of their journey as a band, but the end of a person’s journey on earth. “And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper” (1 Kings 19:12).

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