Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Derek Webb Releases Stockholm Syndrome

Derek Webb, that most controversial of all Christians, has released a new record and subsequently taken his ability to cause a stir to the next level.

According to the blog on his official website:

In Webb's Christian venue, of course, words still have that power. The
closest thing to an official explanation I've heard for why INO won't release the song "What Matters More" is that it includes a dirty word beginning with "s." (In
some evangelical circles, the shot of Moore smoking tobacco on his own Texas
porch is proof enough that "Stockholm Syndrome" grew out of an atmosphere of
moral lassitude.) Another strike, obviously, is Webb's thorough-going critique
of the evangelical culture's moral self-regard, particularly its "reckless"
rejection of homosexuals. "If I can tell what's in your heart by what comes out
of your mouth," he sings on "What Matters More, "it sure seems like being
straight is what this is all about."

From what I can gather, Webb and the record label settled on a "censored" and "uncensored" version.

I want to like Derek Webb. I'm a huge fan of Caedmon's Call, the band he left in 2003. I like Webb's album "The House Show" more for the Bible Studies in between songs than the songs themselves. I like his gritty, throwback-to-Dylan voice, and the way he makes the Christian establishment wiggle in discomfort by pointing out their hypocrisies and errors (little did I know that Webb doesn't think Christians should try to change the world through politics, a position I've held and defended for several years now).

But I have a problem with a "Christian" artist choosing to use profanity in his art. I just do. Maybe I'm more prudish than I want to believe but there has to be a difference in "our music" and "their music". I often preach the value of "positive" music because it doesn't incorporate profanity, drugs, or immorality even though it may not be explicitly Christian. But here's a so called Christian artist who chooses to be a little less positive.

Webb is good enough at his art to provide thought provoking, heavy hitting, and good sounding music without using profanity.

It's too bad that music will be lost to many who will choose to censor his words.

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