David Crowder Band- Give Us Rest or (a requiem mass in c [the happiest of all keys])
by Clifford Shane Franklin
Give Us Rest or (a requiem mass in c [the happiest of all keys]) is the latest and last offering from the iconic group, David Crowder Band, and, while they’re known for having helped in reshaping the worship scene over the last decade, this album – a requiem mass – stands as a reshaping of worship in its own right. The massive collection of 34 songs on two CDs (or three vinyl discs for the dedicated fans) embraces every aspect of David Crowder Band in message and musicality, handling the topic of death with a perspective of hope through a plethora of musical mediums spanning a vast selection of genres.
To gain a little insight as to the amount of thought put into this album, one needs to look no further than the cover of the album. The hummingbird in the center surrounded by roses along the outside puts together two of nature’s most beautiful and fragile creatures – the hummingbird, being the smallest bird in existence and the rose being amongst the most easily damaged of the flowers. Along with these two images, there are various physics equations dealing with mass, the significance of which they hinted at on their website, saying, “Mass happens to be a term used in physics, and this was exciting to us”. The different equations deal with everything from measuring the smallest of particles to the universal gravitational constant, and in each one of the equations is a bit of a message about impact and force. While these themes aren’t hit upon directly in the album, DAVID CROWDER BAND is known for presenting images and concepts to consider while listening to their music, and with these concepts in mind, a play-through of Give Us Rest takes on a new layer of meaning, but we’ll let you see that for yourself.
As for the musical aspects of this album, every last second of the 100+ minutes of music works to create a beautiful final product, and each section adds something new and exciting to the mix. In the track list, standouts like “Come Find Me,” and “After All,” will excite those looking for new covers to pull from this album, while some of the quieter pieces, such as, “Oh Great God, Give Us Rest,” “Oh My God I’m Coming Home,” and “Sequence 6,” each have in their musical simplicity much deeper meanings to explore. In between, Give Us Rest offers music covering all of the band’s previous explorations in electronic music, bluegrass, and classic worship, while the sequences show David Crowder*Band taking their influences to a variety of extremes that may come as a surprise to even the most seasoned Crowder fans. Some of the tracks may seem a bit out of place, especially when hearing “A Burial,” or the sequences for the first time, but with closer inspection these interruptions start to take form as part of the more intricate facets of this gem.
Overall, Give Us Rest is an incredible end to an era in worship music that won’t be soon forgotten. The hope with which Crowder and company approach the coming changes comes out in the music, and while it provides a positive ending for their musical career together, the themes and concepts can easy come out of their biographical elements to give inspiration to any heart that’s going through a difficult time in life. The message of this album that comes out most prominently is one of victory in death and hope in Christ, and those two concepts alone should prove a significant encouragement to anyone needing a hand up in their walk.
Regardless of your taste in music, Give Us Rest probably has a song or two that you’ll enjoy, and for even the most casual of Crowder fans, this CD is a must-have. It’s never easy to see such an influential group call it quits, but David Crowder Band marks their return home with something that is truly spectacular, and in this “end” of theirs is the potential for a new beginning in the life of every listener who gives an ear to this group’s swan song.