I was avoiding it, but I suppose it makes more sense now than down the road. Last week, for $9.99, I paid for Derek Webb's newest album, Stockholm Syndrome (immediately download, and 2 copies arrive in the mail near September - not a bad deal). I posted a few thoughts way back when I heard some of the controversy surrounding it.
Now that I've listened to it, I have a few thoughts.
1. Finally, an album that sounds different. Seriously. I like Webb's stuff, but most of what he's done solo has sounded like something a single college guy would sing around girls he likes to prove both that he can sing, and he's into "hip" things. His voice is still a bit whiny at times, but at least the music mixes things up a bit. Even hip-hop-ish...at times. Numbers 2 and 3 my fav. for sound at least. A few of the songs go a bit too far into the techno/voice distortion/etc....but I still like it for sounding different from anything before this.
2. I like the price/options. I wish more artists would recognize their ability to be more involved in how/how much their album is purchased for.
3. Content. Aside from all the hype/promotion focusing on the controversial nature of the language/topics found on this album. It's Derek Webb. Very hip-hop in content/message. But this album especially leaves me hungry for Christ. Maybe he did that on purpose, and will deliver in his next album, or was hoping to lead us simply to the hunger so that we pursue it on our own. In any regard, it would be very easy for this, and books/cds/blogs like it to simpy be an anti-church catalyst for those who are riding the slam the church gravy train. That's not a train Jesus is aboard...so let's be careful how long/why we ride it.
4. Edited version available. Thank you Derek Webb. No matter how much you hurt inside for sacrificing artistic integrity, thanks. I think it should still be possible to convey the message of church being held captive by our culture, and finding we are drawn into relationship with our captors all too easily....and still be properly offensive - without using offensive language. That being said, I can understand his desire to use many of the words he does in many places.
Altogether, I think it's worth getting. Get together with a couple hippy friends who don't mind a few risque words and buy it for $9.99. They can have the foul-mouthed versions, and you can get the Wal-mart appropriate version when it's mailed out around September.
Worth a listen.
Church For The Unwelcomed
5 weeks ago