Oh for Joy
The David Crowder Band brings an innovative edge to traditional nativity songs on Oh for Joy. In many ways, the group’s freewheeling treatment of these Christmas favorites is of a piece with the sound they forged on A Collision and Church Music. DCB’s ability to balance rootsy country-folk elements with rock dynamics and electronic dance rhythms serves them well throughout the project. Shimmering guitar work and hard-thumping drums bring out the sense of exaltation within “The First Noel” and “Joy to the World.” “Angels We Have Heard on High” and the closing moments of “Silent Night” reflect the band’s love for acoustic bluegrass jamming. At the other extreme is the very contemporary treatment given to “Go Tell It on the Mountain” and “Carol of the Bells”; anyone in the mood for arena-rock heroics will be righteously stirred by the latter. What unites these eclectic interpretations is a worshipful spirit that makes the songs’ timeless language glow with renewed fire.