[16 February 2009]
PopMatters Associate Music Editor
Despite his name and the fact he’s signed to Christian label Tooth & Nail, Crowder bears no relation to praise music superstar David Crowder. Corey Crowder, rather, is a Georgian internet sensation who traffics in middle-of-the-road, well-crafted Southern country rock. Debut Gold and the Sand is full of thoughtfully-strummed acoustic guitars, rich harmonies, and midtempo ballads. Crowder’s slightly gravelly voice is warm and pleasant, too. This all might sound quite nice, and it is. But that’s the problem. The music and production are blandly professional, neutering whatever Southern attitude the songs might have had. And Crowder fills the songs with equally bland cliches. Lonesome roads, questions of faith, and “better days” abound. The net result is an album with all the personality of the latest release by an American Idol alum. Crowder recently relocated to Nashville to work as a contract writer for EMI. Sure enough, he sounds like just the guy to pen the hits for next Brad Paisley.