STYLE: Roots/Acoustic RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 8260-8013 LABEL: Fair Trade Services 000768250129 FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1 RRP: £4.99
Reviewed by Mike Rimmer
It’s a shame that one of the most important albums of 2003 will probably go largely unnoticed in the general Christian music scene. Why so? Because rather than penning a pile of soft songs about love and grace, Derek Webb has chosen to write songs of such powerful prophetic intention that it’s impossible not to be challenged. The former Caedmon’s Call member tackles head on the state of the Church, its corruption and God’s unchanging sacrificial love. Lyrically a lot of these songs are speaking to the listener from God’s perspective and it’s not always a comfortable listen and yet it’s essential that we are creating music that speaks honestly and creatively about realities. He’s had some criticism in the USA for “Wedding Dress” where he depicts the Church as a whore because of its unfaithfulness and tendency to sin. Ouch! I guess Derek knew he was going to be unpopular because he sets out his agenda in the opening song “Nobody Loves Me” where he tells the listener that he has to obey his conscience and make these statements of truth. Derek’s songs manage to celebrate the radiance and wretchedness of the Church with equal measure so that the album both inspires and challenges. God has great purposes for the Church and loves her and yet the Church is capable of living in such shame, it makes you weep. This album brought all those issues to the surface within me and as I am after all part of the Church, these truths hit home and hard! “Lover” is one of the most powerful songs where Derek sings with the heart of Christ of loving the Church and setting her free. That theme is continued, obviously, on the title cut. This truly is a masterpiece both in spiritual content and musical beauty where songs are crafted and recorded sensitively. If he keeps going like this, Derek Webb could emerge to make as big an impact as the likes of Keith Green and Rich Mullins. I pray that he does because we definitely need more albums with this kind of depth. Challenging but essential.
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As a member of Caedmon's Call, he's written hit songs and won numerous awards now Derek Webb releases his debut solo album. Well crafted poetic lyrics with an American folk feel bring a powerful message about the Church.
Includes: 'Beloved, Awake my soul, Nothing (without you).'