Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Pop, Christian
Listen to Samples
Similarly Requested CDs
Searching for the Song
Thomas H. Ayers | Bowie, MD United States | 01/23/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Mockingbird" is Derek Webb's latest love potion: a mirror, emetic, and trail mix for the Christian wandering this modern landscape. A very consistent effort, it examines personal and societal obligations through the lens of love. Surprisingly engaging, it boasts a number of songs worth adopting.
The Content: Touted as an album about "God, politics, and social issues," as suggested by Webb on his "How to Kill and Be Killed" DVD, "Mockingbird" presents meditations on the truth and consequences of love. Webb presents love as an act of intense loyalty to the Savior and those He loves. In that context, politics, the art of getting along with other people, becomes sacred business, and having songs of love and politics rub shoulders becomes quite natural.
"Mockingbird" is the confessional opener, presenting Webb's search for authenticity, truth, and solid ground in this world of many songs. "A New Law" is a powerful plea for an uncomplicated life, presumably referencing John 13:34. "A King and a Kingdom" is a genuine rallying cry that veers into truly frightening territory--in my mind, the most powerful song on the album. "I Hate Everything (But You)" was co-written by Webb's wife, Sandra McCracken, and it's a good one, a nice love song. With love and allegiance surveyed, "Rich Young Ruler" and "My Enemies are Men Like Me" tackle poverty and war powerfully, in part through the eyes of the Savior. I don't quite get "Zeroes and Ones" yet--the lack of a lyrics sheet doesn't help. "In God We Trust" is a simple meditation on trusting God--and oh there are many situations worth noting here. "Please, Before I Go" is a pretty little love song. "Love is Not Against the Law" summarizes what came before.
The Music: The tunes are melodically simple, the arrangements clean and interesting, and the vocals affecting. Much tighter than previous efforts, it holds up well to repeated listenings from start to finish. "A Consistent Ethic of Human Life" is an instrumental touchstone that features strings, brass, and bells, providing an important structural framework for the album. (For example, if you hear horn and trumpet, expect love to be an important theme of the song.) Their presence makes this album a much richer experience. "Rich Young Ruler" boasts an electric guitar solo! but not by Derek Webb, alas. (I do wish he would make a more electric guitar-driven album with solos done by himself.) Overall, this might be Derek's best solo effort, musically.
Concerns: "A King and a Kingdom": Webb has been very concerned about Christians making Jesus into their own image (see, for example, "I Repent" from ISTUD: "by domesticating you until you look just like me"), and the "white Middle Class Republican" line is quite in keeping with that. (Many Sunday School materials show Jesus as a cute white guy with long hair. Some black churches portray Jesus as being black. This sort of thing is not uncommon and worth noting.) As with the use of "whore" in "Wedding Dress" from SMASGF, Webb uses "hell" quite literally--shock value, but not profanity, intended: i.e. sure as hell is real, our enemy is _____. "My Enemies Are Men Like Me": Though naive on the surface, it acquires its power from the eye-opening stanza about Jesus' example. Most of these songs paraphrase or imply Scripture (e.g. "Mockingbird": Matthew 12:43-45 and Mark 5:9-10.) and merit careful consideration. Webb lets you know where he's coming from--search the Scriptures to see if he's on target or not.
Impression: This is Derek Webb's most accessible album to date. The music is attractive though not ground-breaking. The lyrics are thought-provoking. For those who appreciate Webb's efforts to promote self-examination, this is a must-have and food for thought.
Also recommended: Keller's "A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23," which echoes the high view of the Lord presented in the album. Also check out Sandra McCracken's new album, "The Builder and the Architect," a fine collection of hymns dressed in contemporary garb and a good counterweight to Derek's output."
Derek has yet to let me down
Jared M. Thomasson | OIklahoma City, OK | 12/28/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I've loved Derek Webb's music for something like the past six years. I t was at that point that I moved to Houston and had my first taste of Caedmon's Call. In fact, 40 Acres is still my favorite CD. But since Derek has set off on his own he's had a somewhat different tone than he did with Caedmon's. His music and lyrics have progressed (as should be hoped for and expected), but his heart has turned to an open call to the church to be what we so often fail to be. Mockingbird is, no doubt, an exceptional addition to a very great solo career of proclaiming to the people of a kingdom that they must never forget their king and first love. Everyone in the church is effectively called out b Webb to change their lives and love the hungry, lonely, sick, poor, tired and undesirable of this fallen world with the love that will one day permeate creation and drive out the wickedness and fallen-ness that plague it today. This both a humbling and encouraging call, one that I'm sure Webb will not (and has not) simply over-looked in his own life."
Excellent and challenging, musically and lyrically.
bluebellysky | Nashville, TN USA | 01/12/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A beautiful effort with some new classics, including "A New Law," which is just as good as "Wedding Dress." Lyrically, Derek is challenging as always, while sonically he takes it up several notches thanks to a brilliant production and engineering team (Cason Cooley and Shane D. Wilson). The horns and strings are tasteful and go well with this more acoustic approach.
Many of the reviews here are deeply unfair. Lumping him in with Jim Wallis is libelous. Derek is not a liberal/Democrat-- or a conservative/Republican, for that matter. In fact, one of the points of this record is to try and get people to think Biblically before they think politically. While I don't agree with everything he says, it is important to be challenged and question your long-held political beliefs, re-examining them in light of Jesus's life and teachings. Derek makes me think more deeply- and Biblically- about war, allegiance, enemies, etc.
Not many people mention that there is also a great pop love song on here: "I Hate Everything (But You)." While its musical similarities to "Reputation" (from I See Things Upside Down) are a little too close for comfort, it is an amazing song that I wish could get radio play.
This is one of my top 5 records of 2005, and will be for 2006 as well. Highly recommended."