Neon Steeple

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Neon Steeple
NeonSteeple.jpg
Studio album by Crowder
Released May 27, 2014 (2014-05-27)
Genre CCM, EDM, folktronica, contemporary worship music
Length 51:58
Label Sparrow/sixsteps (Capitol CMG)
Producer Ed Cash, David Crowder, Jared Fox, Will Hunt, Solomon Olds, Christian Paschall, Gabe Scott, Christopher Stevens
Crowder chronology
Neon Steeple
(2014)
Neon Porch Extravaganza
(2015)Neon Porch Extravaganza2015
Singles from Neon Steeple
  1. "I Am"
    Released: November 25, 2013
  2. "Come As You Are[1]"
    Released: August 26, 2014
  3. "Lift Your Head Weary Sinner (Chains)[2]"
    Released: July 14, 2015

Neon Steeple is the debut studio album from the mononymously known Christian musician Crowder. It was released on May 27, 2014 by Sparrow Records and sixstepsrecords, and the producers were Ed Cash, David Crowder, Jared Fox, Will Hunt, Solomon Olds, Christian Paschall, Gabe Scott and Christopher Stevens. The album sold 22,000 copies in its opening week of sales, causing it to debut at No. 9 on the Billboard 200.

Background[edit]

After a long stint at the helm of David Crowder Band, Crowder and his band mates disbanded.[3] Neon Steeple is his first solo musical foray and was released on May 27, 2014 by Sparrow Records and sixstepsrecords.[3][4] The album was produced by the following producers; Ed Cash, David Crowder, Jared Fox, Will Hunt, Solomon Olds, Christian Paschall, Gabe Scott and Christopher Stevens.[5]

Artwork[edit]

The artwork for the physical copy of the album uses a Kinegram to animate the text on the album's cover and liner notes.[6][7]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
365 Days of Inspiring Media 4/5 stars[8]
AllMusic 3/5 stars[9]
Christian Music Review 5/5 stars[10]
Christianity Today 3/5 stars[11]
CM Addict 5/5 stars[12]
The Front Row Report 8.5/10 stars[3]
HM Magazine 4/5 stars[13]
Jesus Freak Hideout 5/5 stars[4]
4.5/5 stars[14]
4/5 stars[15]
New Release Tuesday 4.5/5 stars[16]
Worship Leader 5/5 stars[17]

Neon Steeple met with a positive reception from music critics.[18] Andrea Hunter of Worship Leader rated the album a perfect five stars, indicating saying Crowder "never settles into predictability" and displays "the edge of emotion in glistening pop". She called the material "raw, yet prodigiously conceived and crafted perfection."[17] At New Release Tuesday, Caitlin Elizabeth Lassiter rated the album four-and-a-half stars, stating "the folk elements and the computer side came together brilliantly".[16] Nathaniel Key of HM Magazine rated the album four stars out of five, calling it "a fresh, relevant and innovative debut release".[13] At AllMusic, Thom Jurek rated the album three stars out of five, noting the music and the musician for its "quirkiness [...] quotient".[9] John Brandon of Christianity Today rated the album three stars out of five, remarking that not everything works well on the album, yet states "'Neon Steeple' is a throwback and a step forward at the same time", which is why "Crowder's ready to lead us there" into a new era of "Christian worship".[11]

Piet Levy of Milwaukee Journal Sentinel gave Neon Steeple a positive review, comparing the music to Avicii's "Wake Me Up" saying "Crowder sticks to folktronica, which blends the warm-hearted, rustic feel of folk with a little cinematic, synthesizer atmosphere."[19] In addition, Levy said "If these songs were less explicitly religious, they'd likely do well on mainstream radio."[19] Jesus Freak Hideout gave three reviews of the album, which were done by Ryan Barbee, Scott Fryberger and Mark Rice. Respectively, their ratings were five stars, four-and-a-half stars and four stars out of five. Barbee stated Crowder is back and "better than ever."[4] Fryberger wrote that "Crowder is no stranger to experimentation, and he pulls it off amazingly with Neon Steeple."[14] Rice said that "Neon Steeple brings forth some of the most creative Crowder concepts yet and excecutes [sic] it to a T". He called the release "everything we could have hoped from Crowder's first endeavor apart from his former band."[15] Christian Music Review's April Covington rated Neon Steeple a perfect five stars, writing that she was "amazed" by Crowder's "crazy, awesome style" of music.[10]

At CM Addict, Andrew Funderburk rated the album a perfect five stars, saying the release "shines brightly" and that "every bit of this project is designed with beautiful artistry and fine detail."[12] Jonathan Andre of 365 Days of Inspiring Media rated the album four out of five, remarking say it features "some of the best songs of [Crowder's] whole entire career so far!"[8] The Front Row Report's Reggie Edwards rated the album eight-and-a-half out of ten, stating that Neon Steeple "should be an instant hit with fans and it won't be long until worship teams everywhere are using some of the songs for their own services."[3] Andrew Greenhalgh at The Sound Opinion gave a positive review of the album, saying "The fusion of the old and the new comes across as effortless in the artist's hands", and that Crowder "reasserts himself as a musical tour de force, making music that is as artistically successful as it is lyrically."[20] At BREATHEcast, Kristen Solis gave a positive review of the album, saying "Only a musical and worship filled creative mind such as David Crowder could pull such an album like this and make it work."[21] Ryan Brymer of Faith Village gave a positive review of the album, saying "This is a good record, but I would just encourage you to leave your expectations at the door."[22]

Awards and accolades[edit]

This album was No. 4 on the Worship Leader's Top 20 Albums of 2014 list.[23]

The song, "I Am", was No. 8 on the Worship Leader's Top 20 Songs of 2014 list.[24]

Commercial performance[edit]

For the Billboard charting week of June 14, 2014, Neon Steeple debuted at No. 9 on the Billboard 200, and it sold 22,000 copies.[25] It debuted at No. 1 on the Christian Albums chart.

Track listing[edit]

Standard edition
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Neon Intro" David Crowder 0:35
2. "My Beloved" Crowder, Ed Cash, Seth Philpott 4:25
3. "I Am" Crowder, Cash 4:07
4. "Come Alive" Crowder, Hank Bentley, Gareth Gilkenson, Chris Llewellyn 3:15
5. "Lift Your Head Weary Sinner (Chains)" Crowder, Cash, Philpott 3:45
6. "Come as You Are" Crowder, Ben Glover, Matt Maher 4:50
7. "Hands of Love" Crowder, Philpott 5:09
8. "Jesus Is Calling" Charlie Monroe, Hank Williams 2:05
9. "My Sweet Lord" (featuring Emmylou Harris) Seth James, Steve Littleton 4:03
10. "This I Know" Crowder, Philpott 4:05
11. "Ain't No Grave" Crowder, Bentley, Philpott 3:42
12. "You Are" Crowder, Bentley, Cash 3:32
13. "Here's My Heart" Louie Giglio, Jason Ingram, Chris Tomlin 6:58
14. "Steeple Outro" Crowder, Bentley 1:27
Total length: 51:58

Chart performance[edit]

Album
Chart (2014) Peak
position
US Billboard 200[26] 9
US Christian Albums (Billboard)[27] 1
Singles
Year Single Peak chart positions
US Christian
[28]
2013 "I Am" 3
2014 "My Beloved" 41
"Come As You Are" 3
2015 "Lift Your Head Weary Sinner (Chains)" 16[29]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "R&R :: Going For Adds :: Christian AC". Radio & Records. Retrieved July 11, 2015. 
  2. ^ "R&R :: Going For Adds :: Christian AC". Radio & Records. Retrieved July 11, 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c d Edwards, Reggie (May 25, 2014). "Crowder: Neon Steeple review". The Front Row Report. Retrieved May 28, 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c Barbee, Ryan (May 25, 2014). "Crowder, "Neon Steeple" Review". Jesus Freak Hideout. Retrieved May 27, 2014. 
  5. ^ Greer, Andrew (June 15, 2014). "The Making of... Neon Steeple" (PDF). CCM Magazine. Salem Publishing. pp. 18–19. ISSN 1524-7848. Retrieved June 13, 2014. 
  6. ^ "Neon Steeple album page". Retrieved May 31, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Just a preview of what the physical cover can do". Crowder Facebook. Retrieved May 31, 2014. 
  8. ^ a b Andre, Jonathan (May 22, 2014). "Crowder – Neon Steeple". 365 Days of Inspiring Media. Retrieved May 24, 2014. 
  9. ^ a b Jurek, Thom. "Neon Steeple - Crowder | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved June 14, 2014. 
  10. ^ a b Covington, April (May 23, 2014). "Crosder 'Neon Steeple'". Christian Music Review. Retrieved May 24, 2014. 
  11. ^ a b Brandon, John (May 28, 2014). "Crowder Goes Hog Wild". Christianity Today. Retrieved June 28, 2014. 
  12. ^ a b Funderburk, Andrew (May 23, 2014). "Review of Neon Steeple by Crowder". CM Addict. Retrieved May 24, 2014. 
  13. ^ a b Key, Nathaniel (June 7, 2014). "Crowder – Neon Steeple". HM. Retrieved June 10, 2014. 
  14. ^ a b Fryberger, Scott (May 24, 2014). "Crowder, "Neon Steeple" Review: Second Staff Opinion". Jesus Freak Hideout. Retrieved May 27, 2014. 
  15. ^ a b Rice, Mark (May 25, 2014). "Crowder, "Neon Steeple" Review: JFH Staff's Additional 2 Cents". Jesus Freak Hideout. Retrieved May 27, 2014. 
  16. ^ a b Lassiter, Caitlin Elizabeth (May 14, 2014). "Folktronica Fusion". New Release Tuesday. Retrieved May 24, 2014. 
  17. ^ a b Hunter, Andrea (May 27, 2014). "Neon Steeple". Worship Leader. Retrieved May 28, 2014. 
  18. ^ Moss, Iain (May 27, 2014). "Crowder's Worldwide Solo Debut "Neon Steeple" Available Now". Jesus Wired. Retrieved May 28, 2014. 
  19. ^ a b Levy, Piet (May 27, 2014). "CD Reviews: Mariah Carey; Sharon Van Etten; Crowder; Kelly Willis and Bruce Robison; Spanish Gold; Little Barrie; Darrell Webb Band". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved June 4, 2014. 
  20. ^ Greenhalgh, Andrew (May 27, 2014). "Review: Crowder, Neon Steeple". The Sound Opinion. Retrieved May 28, 2014. 
  21. ^ Solis, Kristen (May 1, 2014). "Crowder's 'Neon Steeple' Aims to Make Listeners Whole in Christ Using Old Church Songs with New School Sounds (REVIEW)". BREATHEcast. Retrieved May 28, 2014. 
  22. ^ Brymer, Ryan (May 27, 2014). "Does Crowder's 'Neon Steeple' Meet Its Lofty Expectations?". Faith Village. Retrieved May 28, 2014. 
  23. ^ Worship Leader. "Top 20 Albums of 2014". Worship Leader. p. 67. Retrieved August 11, 2015. 
  24. ^ Worship Leader. "Top 20 Songs of 2014". Worship Leader. p. 64–5. Retrieved November 5, 2015. 
  25. ^ Caulfield, Keith (June 4, 2014). "Coldplay Chills For Second Week At No. 1, Mariah Carey Debuts At No. 3". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved June 5, 2014. 
  26. ^ "Crowder Chart History - Billboard 200". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved June 5, 2014. 
  27. ^ "Crowder Chart History - Christian Albums". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved June 5, 2014. 
  28. ^ "Crowder Chart History - Christian Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved June 5, 2014. 
  29. ^ "Hot Christian Songs chart, week of August 22, 2015". Billboard. Retrieved July 11, 2015.