Monday, February 27, 2006

InFocus: She Must and Shall Go Free

In 2003, Derek Webb released his first solo project, She Must and Shall go Free. The CD was chock full of music after Derek's own style. The style was an acoustic rock/pop sound, extremely similar to his music on Caedmon's Call's Long Line of Leavers CD. But the lyrics were what set Derek's release apart from the rest of Contemporary Christian music.
Derek's first release featured 11 tracks, all on the topic of The Church. Derek said of the album, "We tend to think that the Gospel is what we tell people that don't believe, then we move onto bigger, better, deeper spiritual things. But there is nothing bigger, better, or deeper. And that's why the record is about the Gospel as it pertains to the Church, which is us."
The title track speaks of Christ's redemption for the Church.
“all her debts were cast on me,and she must and shall go free. peace of conscience, peace with God we obtain through Jesus’ blood Jesus’ blood speaks solid rest we believe, and we are blest...should the law against her roar Jesus’ blood still speaks with power."
On the first single of the album, "Take to the world", Derek teams up with Jars of Clay lead singer Dan Haseltine in a track about the Church spreading the gospel through a love that imitate's Christ's love.
"take to the world this love, hope and faith take to the world this rare, relentless grace and like the three in one know you must become what you want to save ‘cause that’s still the way He takes to the world."
Some people accuse Derek of preaching to them, but Derek does not just stand behind the microphone and just address faults of the Church, but addresses his own shortcomings as well. In the song "Saint and Sinner" Derek writes:
"‘cause i’m not a half a man i’m not a half a man Lord knows i love you now but a saint and a sinner is what i am."
And in the track "Crooked Deep Down":
"my life looks good i do confess, you can ask anyone just don’t ask my real good friends because they will lie to you or worse, they’ll tell the truth (ouch...)
because there are things you would not believe that travel into my mind i swear i try and capture them but always set ‘em free it seems bad things comfort me
(chorus) good lord i am crooked deep down everyone is crooked deep down but good lord i am crooked deep down."
While many Christians welcomed this lyrically incredible album with open arms, many others took offense. On the song Saint and Sinner Derek had written "I used to be a damned mess but now I look just fine, 'Cause you dressed me up and we drank the finest wine". Many took offense at the use of the word 'damned' and it was removed from the album version. Secondly, the brilliant song "Wedding Dress", paralleling the Church to a prostitute that continues to run after the world, included harsh language. "I am a whore I do confess, I put you on just like a wedding dress, and I , run down the aisle to You." But that was the beauty of the song. He held nothing back. He wanted to shock people into action, to get people out of their comfort zone. And besides that, it's TRUE! But Derek didn't apologize for offending people because as the opening track states, "I don't care if nobody loves me, but You (Christ)."
Overall, the album is absolutely amazing, from beginning to end, and is not just a good listen, but includes many good lessons.

Standout tracks: Wedding Dress, Take to the World, Lover.
Beautiful lyrics in the song "Lover":
like a man comes to an alter i came into this town.
with the world upon my shoulders and promises passed down.
and i went into the water and my father, he was pleased.
i built it and i’ll tear it down so you will be set free
but i found thieves and salesmen living in my father’s house.
i know how they got in here and i know how to get ‘em out.
i’m turning this place over from floor to balcony.
and then just like these doves and sheep you will be set free
i’ve always been a lover from before i drew a breath.
some things i loved easy and some i loved to death.
because love’s no politician, it listens carefully.
of those who come i can’t lose one, so you will be set free
but go on and take my picture, go on and make me up.
i’ll still be your defender, you’ll be my missing son.
and i’ll send out an army just to bring you back to me.
because regardless of your brother’s lies you will be set free
i am my beloveds and my beloved’s mine.
so you bring all your history and i’ll bring the bread and wine.
and we’ll have us a party where all the drinks are on me.
then as surely as the rising sun you will be set free


Anonymous Lizzie said...

Wow!!! That was an amazing post Zach! Don't forget to review Superchick's CD.... :)

2/27/2006 9:34 PM  
Blogger Strider said...

Great review! I love the "in-your-face" approach Derek uses within his lyrics. I didn't realize that some of his lyrics had to be altered to keep from offending evangelicals! It's too bad that people in the Church tend to be the most sensitive people on the planet. We really need more artists like Derek Webb and Jars of Clay in Christian music to wake us up out of our shallow comfort zones.

2/28/2006 8:08 AM  
Anonymous 'Rissa said...

I'm really starting to like Derek Webb. I don't know if that's what you set out to do with this blog, but that's what has happened.

I personally don't mind being "preached to" in a song. I remember songs much more easily than I do sermons. Plus, if you get a sermon song stuck in your head, you'll constantly be preaching to yourself!

3/01/2006 10:20 AM  

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