Pastor Matt Weighs in on the Derek Webb Controversy Part 2: The Review

Posted: July 29, 2009 in Uncategorized

When I was a kid Rolling Stone magazine released their Top 100 Albums of All Time.  I read that Michael Stipe of R.E.M. was one of many who went out and bought each album on that list.  People like Stipe didn’t buy albums by Television or The Modern Lovers because they liked them but because they liked the idea of them. 

I like the idea of Derek Webb’s new album more than I like the album itself.  I dig the idea of a Christian album that is not the usual, shallow, triumphalistic fluff filled with what one philosopher called “Jesus is my Girlfriend” songs but, frankly, I think that Stockholm Syndrome is Webb’s weakest release musically. 

I appreciate Webb wanting to experiment but his vocal style just doesn’t lend itself to many of the songs he has penned for Stockholm Syndrome, especially the electronica dance beat of “What Matters More” and the Peter Gabriel-esque “The State.”

Lyrically, as I posted before, I think that Webb is guilty of stereotyping evangelicals and the Christian Right, which will probably result in narrowing the hearing he probably desperately wants from many of them.  In other words, by pushing the boundary farther than it has before he may end up only preaching to the choir.

And I have to ask this question, does he really need to gig evangelicals and the Christian Right? I think Webb has been more influential by taking the “we” approach in songs like “Wedding Dress”  instead of the “you!” approach in tunes like “What Matters More.”  

Now, don’t get me wrong, Stockholm Syndrome has a few truly fine moments but as a Webb fan, I just don’t think it stacks up to his previous efforts.

If you want more then check out Christianity Today’s review and you can also find a song by song breakdown/review here:

Grace and peace.


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