When David Eugene Edwards took a break from established alt-country rockers 16 Horsepower in 2001, he took on the moniker Woven Hand as an outlet for his prolific song-writing. On Consider the Birds, his third solo release, Edwards crafts another unswerving ode to God that invokes power, love and glory through dark American folk.
The son of a traveling Nazarene preacher, Edwards’s Christianity is a theme that runs throughout Consider The Birds. The name Woven Hand is taken from the image of hands entwined in prayer. But like labelmate Sufjan Stevens, when Edwards talks about God, the message is clear without being preachy. That isn’t to say Edwards isn’t forceful with his faith. On “Down In Yon Forest” when he eulogizes, “Down under that bed there runs a flood / Bells of paradise I hear them ring / Half runs with water / Half runs with blood / And I love my Jesus above everything,” the weight of judgment can be felt with each strum of his guitar.
The only thing holding back Consider the Birds from being a great record is the analogous composition. On most of the tracks, Edwards performs all the instrumentation himself, and the songs all end up sonically similar. The tracks that really stand out are the ones where he lets other musicians flesh out his arrangements. But even by his lonesome, Edwards still conjures up epic folk hymns.
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars