FREE Derek Webb album download for 48 hours only!

UPDATE: The album is no longer up, but clicking the link below will take you to a page where you can download the super-controversial single “What Matters More”  off of the album.

Hey everyone, I just wanted to plug this.  This morning at 9am I got an email from the Derek Webb mailing list saying that on Noise Trade you can download Derek Webb’s newest album, Stockholm Syndrome for free for the next 48 hours.  Which means it should be up until about 9am Friday morning (02/26/2010).  You have nothing to lose, and an amazing album to gain.  Here’s the link:

Download “What Matters More” from Derek Webb’s album Stockholm Syndrome on for free


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My Favorite Song: “Wedding Dress” by Derek Webb

b00008ngas01_ss500_sclzzzzzzz_For those that have read this blog for a while, seeing the name “Derek Webb” AGAIN in the title of one of my posts probably caused you to at least roll your eyes, if not actually letting out a heavy sigh accompanied with an “oh Paul…”.  This is because in about a three month span, I wrote 8 posts all having to do with Derek Webb’s newest album Stockholm Syndrome (here they are: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8).  Admittedly, I kept writing all those mainly because I was boasting record visits to my site because of those articles and I wanted to maintain that.  But eventually it got old, and I went back to my smaller numbers, though those article still rank as my highest visited even still.

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Derek Webb’s “Stockholm Syndrome”| a preliminary album review

[NOTE: this is not a review of the whole album, just an impression from the songs released so far]

He has said it is his most important album to date.  But no matter what, Derek Webb’s Stockholm Syndrome will not be just an album. Regardless of the music, production, or vocals, this album will first and foremost be a manifesto, an indictment, a message. The lyrics will define this album. This album – this artist, even – has become a voice for an entire group of disgruntled twenty-something Christians that have surveyed the rolling hills of American evangelicalism and have found it lacking. They have called out for a prophet to say the words and use the language that will draw the line in the sand and separate the “Biblical” sheep from the “fundamentalist” goats. A man to come out in sackcloth and ashes and save real grace-driven Christianity from the clutches of the legalistic drones that would rob us of our freedom in Christ.

So, the question I have struggled with ever since the first songs on this album came out is: is this the right message spoken in the right way to the right people at the right time?

I hate saying it, but (from what we’ve seen so far) I don’t think so. There is a time and a place for the message this album seems to carry, don’t get me wrong. I don’t write off a song done by a Christian just because it has a curse word or says things sharply. The Old Testament prophets spoke just as harshly (if not more so) to the “church” at that time. They would call women cows (Amos 4:1), say that the people “lusted” after other gods like some dream of fornicating with others with penises the size of donkeys and ejaculations like that of horses (Ezekiel 23:20), and declare that the best things we ever did were nothing more than rags dipped in a woman’s menstruation tossed before the face of God (Isaiah 64:6).

I fancy Derek Webb sees himself as such a prophet, just as I know many of his fans do. Now, I think this harsh tone is absolutely appropriate and the balance is struck with all of Webb’s previous albums. But the vehemence of the songs released so far from Stockholm is off-putting and seems a bit out of place. It’s not just a declaration that the church is off on a few points and how they’ve gone about some things – all the songs are a mockery and sarcastic rant against her. As a friend well put it: this album probably will not accomplish the goal for which Derek set off writing this record. Rather than shock the church into reform, this album is far more likely to galvanize the opposition force against the church and those that think the Church has become so out of touch and impotent it has become unimportant all together.

I know that’s not Webb’s heart. Anyone that’s heard the album 2003’s She Must and Shall Go Free knows this. The songs from Stockholm Syndrome seem to form an epistle from a wounded lover. A man who loves the Bride of Christ so much he hates how she has gone a stray and has been personally affected and hurt by it. But I wish he would take a page out of Hosea and try to play a part in wooing the church back rather than trying to beat her back.

I just want to say it again: this criticism is not about language or tone. I am really not bothered by the “bad words” used or the forceful tone. Perhaps my favorite song ever recorded by any artist, “Wedding Dress“, has both of these elements, and yet it is geared more towards Webb’s own depravity rather than the Church’s flaws. Look, I have the same criticisms as him. Raised as a Dallas, Texas Southern Baptist, my family has been destroyed by the effects of fundamentalism and “easy believism”. But Jesus said He is building His church, so we must try and find the balance between working with Christ in building it or mocking what He’s done so far, and thereby working against the work Christ would have us do. I fear this album is the latter.

Much has changed on the landscape of American Christianity since Webb’s 2007 album The Ringing Bell. The Church has effectively lost its grip on pop culture, politics, and the prevailing worldview of the nation. This being the case, these songs from Stockholm Syndrome come on the scene too late and kick the church while she’s down, as it were.

But, at some point today, Derek is supposed to begin pre-orders for the album accompanied by immediate digital downloads. So when that happens, I’ll be sure to put up a more comprehensive review as soon as possible.

I pray he surprises us.  Thoughts, anyone?

It is done: Derek Webb’s “Stockholm Syndrome” album release + new free song


[WARNING: there’s a “bad” word mentioned a few times in this post]

[Also, for those reading this on Facebook, click here to read this on my actual blog, so you can watch the videos, stream the music, and download the audio more easily.]

Well, it’s done.  After all the drama, Derek Webb’s new album “Stockholm Syndrome” is set for release this Tuesday.  Apparently, if you pre-order the album off his website on Tuesday, you will be able to get a free download of the entire album immediately.

But –

this revelation did not come before another song – the song of the album perhaps – was released.  Anyone who has been following this situation knows that Derek has been releasing “stems” (or pieces of the song) for a while.  This is the song with the cursing that started this whole thing.  It is a song that has been titled “What Matters More” and it has to do with the Church’s treatment of homosexuals.  So without further ado, here are all the songs that have been released off of Derek Webb’s newest album “Stockholm Syndrome”.  Enjoy and be sure to download them all on Tuesday.

Thanks again to Shane for the update.  The name above each streaming song is a link to the actual file for you to download.  Right-click or whatever you do to download these things.

“What Matters More?”

“Freddie, Please”


“The Spirit vs. the Kick-Drum”

It sounds like the new song is what inspired (or vice versa) Webb’s recent purchase of the domain, which he plans on using as a fundraising site.  The site’s had no content on it for a while, but just now as I saw that it has a black screen on it, apparently holding the spot for new content coming soon (Tuesday, perhaps?).  We’ll see.

Lastly, I heard from musical artist and friend Joel Rakes (so if it’s not true, blame him – or the people he follows on Twitter) that there was also a documentary done about this whole thing, so keep an eye out for that.  And check out Joel’s stuff while you’re at it.

Here are other sites concerning Webb and the album. Please visit these as well to support the artist and his craft.

For those that don’t even know about Derek Webb and his music, here are a few of my favorite songs by him. Yeah, he’s pretty stinking good. [Once again, if you’re on facebook, these videos may not show up, so click here to watch them]

“Wedding Dress” off of “She Must and Shall Go Free”
Vodpod videos no longer available.

“Medication” off of “I See things Upside Down”
Vodpod videos no longer available.

“My Enemies Are Men Like Me” off of “Mockingbird”
Vodpod videos no longer available.

Regina Spektor’s upcoming album “Far”

First off, I really want to do more cultural critique on this blog.  I feel like I have had my head in the ether for far too long.  Now, I don’t want to talk any less about theology and Christianity, I just want to talk a whole lot more about television, music, movies, politics, technology and the like.  Secondly, I was in the process of ignoring this desire of mine and was almost done putting the finishing touches on an upcoming three(?) part series on philosophy and theology, when @NPRnews popped on my twitter feed with a link to where they are currently streaming the new Regina Spektor album (due out June 23rd).

Let’s just say the philsophy series got put on hold for a day or two.

This album is spectacular.

I’ve never listened to Regina Spektor.  I regret that now.  This album (according to NPR) was produced by four different people in four different places at four different times.  For those circumstances to produce this record is astonishing.  Admittedly, I was really enjoying just the music, vocals, and melodies.  Until I heard the song below.  I really had no idea how wonderful of a lyricist she is.  Good gracious.  And no, I don’t just like the song because it talks about God (in fact, she’s a practicing Jew, apparently).  The lyrics are so thoughtful and smart, the music is so beautiful, and the melodies are those of a very experienced artist.

There are so many beautiful nuances in this record.  I will spend the next week or so plumbing their depths.  Current favorites tracks are: The Calculation, Blue Lips, Laughing With, Human of the Year, Dance Anthem of the 80’s, Genius Next Door, Man of a Thousand Faces.

So, listen to the album, put it on repeat, pre-order it, watch this video (below), and read/love the lyrics.