Jump to content

Derek Webb


Josh Hurst
 Share

Recommended Posts

Derek Webb is, in my opinion, the most talented and provocative songwriter in contemporary Christian music today, and perhaps the only one that I genuinely enjoy.

In this recent chat transcript, he reveals that the title of his new album is going to be "I See Things Upside Down."

He also promises that the new album is going to be even more controversial than the original, which was banned from many Christian retailers. "NO ONE in Christian music will get it."

And finally, he says that he has been influenced by Damien Rice and Wilco. Odd... blink.gif

Partner in Cahoots

www.cahootsmag.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 53
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

i've always found webb's voice a tad bit wheedling, but i think he's a very good songwriter. i really respect what he's trying to do, and the role he envisions for himself in and around christian music. sounds from this chat like he's got his head and heart in the right place.

this comment--"[the new album]'s going to be a little left of center all the way around"--made me go "hmmm" (in a "oooh, interesting!" way, not an "uh-oh" way). he talks a lot in that chat about the vapidity of the american dream for christians and alludes to "the upside-down kingdom." i doubt it'll be out-and-out political, but sounds like dude has something to say to those who equate following Jesus with suburban-family-values. always refreshing. could webb be poised to step into the prophetic shoes left empty by rich mullins...?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

kebbie wrote:

: . . . a little left of center all the way around . . . the prophetic shoes . . .

There's another specimen for my theory that the word "prophetic" has been hi-jacked by the left.

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Are Mullins and Webb part of "the left"?

well, i think that's where mullins and webb would differ, probably. mullins seemed to have a way of gently prodding and poking at middle-class, white christians' so-called comfort zones without actually making any political statements or affiliating himself with a particular party. i don't think that was a strategy, though; rich always seemed to me to be genuinely unaffiliated. and of course the way he lived his life bore witness to a kingdom not of the powers and principalities of "this world." i think it would be widely considered more of a "lefty" thing to do to have your accountant skim off only the average working man's salary for your personal use and give the rest away; to advocate for peace and justice in the nations; or to ditch nashville and go live on an indian reservation--but i don't think rich mullins would've called himself a political leftist. do you?

on the other hand webb, at least at this point in his young life, seems to be veering decidedly left--he namechecks howard zinn's "people's history," for goodness sakes. i've been there and i understand the temptation to affiliate when one party seems to represent one's particular kingdom concerns more than the other. (as peter pointed out, i have not quite shaken that habit.) but webb also seems rooted in the understanding that God's kingdom is beyond our petty political leanings--that it turns our notions of right and wrong and proper and improper upside down and inside out and backwards. that's a good place to stand, i think.

Edited by kebbie
Link to comment
Share on other sites

webb also seems rooted in the understanding that God's kingdom is beyond our petty political leanings--that it turns our notions of right and wrong and proper and improper upside down and inside out and backwards. that's a good place to stand, i think.

I

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Okay, I've never ever heard this guy. Where do I start?

good question. he's only put out one solo album (that i know of, although i've heard rumors of a live one), called she must and shall go free. got banned from many christian bookstores for the word "whore." sure hope they took the bibles off the shelves along with it! anyway, i've never heard it, but i know people who like it. is that a ringing endorsement or what? smile.gif

if you've ever heard caedmon's call, though, you've heard derek. he's the one with the kind of plaintive, nasally voice.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Okay, I've never ever heard this guy. Where do I start?

good question. he's only put out one solo album (that i know of, although i've heard rumors of a live one), called she must and shall go free. got banned from many christian bookstores for the word "whore." sure hope they took the bibles off the shelves along with it! anyway, i've never heard it, but i know people who like it. is that a ringing endorsement or what? smile.gif

if you've ever heard caedmon's call, though, you've heard derek. he's the one with the kind of plaintive, nasally voice.

It was banned? Good heavens. That's what you get in the Christian retailing world for sticking to Biblical imagery.

Anyway, Derek's got a new album on the way, although I think most it consists of live versions of the stuff on She Must and Shall Go Free.

Which I've heard wink.gif but can't wholeheartedly endorse. It grew on me a little bit with repeat listens, but it's not quite the "whole album" experience I'd been hoping for from Webb. Some of the songs are great, but too many sound like one-off riffs.

But the good songs are very good. It probably won't come as a surprise to hear that the song with "whore" in it is the rawest, best song on the record.

Hmmm ... that chat linked to above mentions an album with a different title due Nov. 9. I guess that's a new studio album.

Edited by Christian

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jeffrey,

Webb only has one studio album so far, She Must and Shall Go Free. And yeah, it was banned in most Christian retailers for using the words-- gasp!-- "whore" and "bastard."

He released a live album earlier this year which I still have not heard.

And his new album comes out on November 9.

Partner in Cahoots

www.cahootsmag.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...
CT Music gives the album five stars, likens it to Dylan, Wilco, and Over the Rhine.

I was going to pick this up yesterday, but the store here at school sold out in 10 minutes!

Well no wonder it sounds like Over the Rhine... half of Over the Rhine's band PLAYS on it!

And are they really selling them at your school ALREADY, Clint? Because the official release date isn't until next Tuesday. Best Buy and Amazon aren't selling them yet...

Partner in Cahoots

www.cahootsmag.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

CT Music gives the album five stars, likens it to Dylan, Wilco, and Over the Rhine.

I was going to pick this up yesterday, but the store here at school sold out in 10 minutes!

Well no wonder it sounds like Over the Rhine... half of Over the Rhine's band PLAYS on it!

And are they really selling them at your school ALREADY, Clint? Because the official release date isn't until next Tuesday. Best Buy and Amazon aren't selling them yet...

Yep. He's playing here at school next Wednesday, so I think he allowed the Lifeway store here at school to sell some copies early.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I heard the album yesterday, and it is easily the most confusing, challenging, and flat-out difficult release I've heard all year.

The songwriting... oh my. Powerful, powerful stuff. Derek Webb writes with a truly prophetic voice. This is an album that ALL Christians NEED to hear. Webb's message is essential.

The music is some of the most original and innovative stuff to ever come out of the CCM industry. And yes, the comparisons to Wilco and OtR are very justified.

And yet... the album hasn't won me over yet. The songs are almost all very slow and mellow, lacking in any kind of vocal passion or strong melodies. Perhps I just need to give it more time, but right now I can't decide whether it deserves an A+ or a C-...

Partner in Cahoots

www.cahootsmag.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Josh, I gave it a couple of spins today. I'd have to say that I agree with you on all of your points. I'm having issues with the vocals - I'm not too sure that Webb can handle the higher notes as well as he could a few years ago.

I'm giving it an A- right now. I do like the Keith Green/Rich Mullins connections Tollbooth noted.

Edited by Clint M
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 8 months later...

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share


×
×
  • Create New...