Artist: Derek Webb
Type: Acoustic, Folk
If you like: The Normals, Bob Dylan, Lennon, Fiona Apple
Breaking the shadows of Caedmon’s Call for his third solo album, Derek Webb’s writing is setting the standard for lyrical excellence. Provoking thought and emotion, each melody is tapping a chord in the mind and heart. Derek has a style that is rarely executed with such distinction. The music is soft and mostly all acoustic, with some accompaniment to garnish for perfection. Joined by the hint of percussion and piano, the acoustic sound is completed. The album is not just only intended to be pleasant to hear, it is made to inspire thought and conversation. Derek stated, “I’m not trying to push buttons…I’m just trying to be as honest as I can…I just want to get the dialogue started.” Not only does each song carry its own theme, they each carry their own message.
Opening up is the title track “Mockingbird” that sets the precedent for the album, calling the listener to take note and not adhere to conformity. I must say that “A King & A Kingdom” blindsided me when I heard, “and that Jesus Christ was a white, middle-class Republican.” No, he was not trying to change the listener’s political stance. The song is trying to refocusing the goal of life to avoid being caught up in the stigma of “man-made” laws or perceptions. Sporting a couple songs for the ladies from the guys, “I Hate Everything (But You)” and “Please, Before I Go” has the smooth melody to soften any heart and make every day a little special.
One of the principles taught by Jesus was how we treat our enemies with the love we would to a friend. “My Enemies Are Men Like Me” brings this to heart with a short excerpt from the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Noble Peace Prize acceptance speech. Derek wanted to start the dialogue, well he got me on board. “A Consistent Ethic Of Human Life” shows how sometimes mastery of music needs no words. It’s not just the lyrical expertise, the music is down right excellent.
Most songs are soft and build themselves on a steady melody. This album not only makes you appreciate a style that is seldom published, but it gets you thinking. Every track makes it easy to picture yourself sitting on the front porch, kickin’ back, watching the sun set after a long day.
So, if you have had a hard day and need a little help relaxing, pop this in and enjoy each song’s rhythm. After each track, you will be left inspired. You will also be left with questions that will impact the way you live! And the music will leave you humming all night.