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Derek Webb - Stockholm Syndrome Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 8.5
Musicianship 8.5
Lyrics 9.5
Production 8.75
Creativity 9
Lasting Value 9
Reviewer Tilt 9
Final Verdict: 89%
Member Ratings
Vocals 8.75
Musicianship 8.25
Lyrics 9.5
Production 8.5
Creativity 8.75
Lasting Value 9.25
Reviewer Tilt 9.25
Average: 89%

Derek Webb - Stockholm Syndrome

Reviewed by: Gregory Robson (09/23/09)
Derek Webb - Stockholm Syndrome
Record Label: INO Records
Release Date: Sept. 1, 2009


It is nearly impossible to sum up singer/songwriter Derek Webb in just a few brief paragraphs. One of the founding members of Houston, TX's Caedmon's Call, the Nashville-based musician has crafted four studio records, one split EP with his wife Sandra McCracken, two b-side discs and a DVD, as well as co-founding influential music Web site NoiseTrade.com. Of his eight-piece discography, few albums have been as widely revered as his last three, most notably 2007's The Ringing Bell.

His latest offering, Stockholm Syndrome, builds on the momentum from The Ringing Bell, but goes a little deeper. Initially slated to be released in the spring, Webb's label INO Records balked at releasing it after the song "What Matter More," was deemed too controversial for the label to release. After months of retooling, Webb agreed to sell the original version with "What Matters More," exclusively on his Web site, allowing the commercial release to hit shelves in September. This review highlights the latter.

A focused study in laptop programming, synths and old school R and B, Stockholm Syndrome is a focused, determined work of artistic brilliance. Webb's tender vocals and uplifting lyrics have always been his calling card, but on Stockholm Syndrome they seem to probe a little deeper. Not one to shy away from wry observation, Webb is firmly comfortable pushing boundaries and limits when needed. The sexual nature of "I Love You/Hate You," seems a bit suggestive for a self-described Christian artist, and the biting candor of the title track, reveal that the Texan is content to say it as it is.

While Stockholm Syndrome falls off in places, and very little of the disc seems at all similar to the acoustic-based songwriter of 2003's She Must and Shall Go Free, there's a confidence and swagger at work here that's hard to dismiss. The vocal croon of "Becoming a Slave," and the anti-Fred Phelps anthem, "Freddie, Please," are the sign of a surefire talent firmly stepping into his comfort zone and making an album that's sure to inspire its listeners. The hip-hop infused "Cobra Con," is undeniably splashy, while the seething anger of "The State," and "The Proverbial Gun," are certain to ignite some passionate discussion. And perhaps that's what's best about Webb. Whereas most singer/songwriters are content to play it safe, he seems unwilling to bow to the powers that be. Self-assured, deeply divine and incredibly determined, he is a refreshing presence on the singer/songwriter circuit. Already hailed by Paste Magazine on more than one occasion, he's more than worth the listen.

Track Listing 1. Opening Credits (1:32)
2. Black Eye (2:54)
3. Cobra Con (2:59)
4. Freddie, Please (3:52)
5. The Spirit Vs. The Kick Drum (3:08)
6. The State (4:30)
7. The Proverbial Gun (3:43)
8. I Love/Hate You (5:02)
9. Becoming A Slave (5:22)
10. Jena & Jimmy (3:25)
11. Heaven (4:27)
12. What You Give Up To Get It (3:15)
13. American Flag Umbrella (4:35)


Find Him Here Myspace
Website


Recommended If You Like Wilco's A Ghost is Born
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 20.
06:52 AM on 09/23/09
#2
im_wide_awake
Roll along you BG warriors
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I cannot believe that this was reviewed on this site. I never would have expected it. Many of my friends like this guy. But this album was getting shot up. This is the first positive review I saw. Mayhaps I'll give him a try
06:54 AM on 09/23/09
#3
s.t.e.v.e.n.
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Freddie please, can't you see, you're the one that's queer
07:10 AM on 09/23/09
#4
Gregory Robson
Under Rug Swept
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Freddie please, can't you see, you're the one that's queer
Amen, brotha'. God, I love that song. D. Webb is a true gem.
07:10 AM on 09/23/09
#5
Gregory Robson
Under Rug Swept
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I cannot believe that this was reviewed on this site. I never would have expected it. Many of my friends like this guy. But this album was getting shot up. This is the first positive review I saw. Mayhaps I'll give him a try
He's one of my personal heroes. I wasn't going to dismiss the chance to talk this up.
07:13 AM on 09/23/09
#6
chillinlikebob
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Great Record! His lyrics are always thought provoking. Always quality from Derek Webb. I hope to catch the tour with his wife.
07:20 AM on 09/23/09
#7
oshyjay
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SO good. I'm glad to see he's getting attention after so many albums.
As you said, the missing track is up on his website for a free download, you don't even have to have bought the album; it's a great song, I'm kinda disappointed it wasn't included in the review.
And I'm sorry but I'll have to disagree with you on the RIYL, Derek as an artist could have those, but this album is ridiculously different musically than his previous work.
Also ya didn't mention the viral marketing that went into the album; do a search for it and check it out!
Thanks for the review, Gregory! You've made my day.
07:43 AM on 09/23/09
#8
thefirewithin
In Exile
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This is album is really good... I love Derek Webb and everything he's ever released. It's great to see him getting attention on here! keep it up! Thanks to Gregory for giving exposure to Derek in an audience where he might not typically be noticed.

This is why I love AP... so much goodness from all genres. :)
07:49 AM on 09/23/09
#9
inthemidst
Grace and Peace
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I cannot believe that this was reviewed on this site. I never would have expected it. Many of my friends like this guy. But this album was getting shot up. This is the first positive review I saw. Mayhaps I'll give him a try
That's exactly what I was thinking! Derek Webb is awesome; I love his brutal honesty. This is the first positive review I've read for it as well, but I trust your opinion, Greg, more than Jesusfreakhideout.com or any other Christian Music Zine. I'm a huge fan of Mockingbird, which is obviously much more acoustic than what you described Stockholm to be. The Ringing Bell is also a great album, but way too short (only about 30 minutes, and 10 songs). Great review Greg, as always.
07:52 AM on 09/23/09
inthemidst
Grace and Peace
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By the way, Noisetrade.com is awesome! Check it out if you haven't already.
08:04 AM on 09/23/09
Gregory Robson
Under Rug Swept
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SO good. I'm glad to see he's getting attention after so many albums.
As you said, the missing track is up on his website for a free download, you don't even have to have bought the album; it's a great song, I'm kinda disappointed it wasn't included in the review.
And I'm sorry but I'll have to disagree with you on the RIYL, Derek as an artist could have those, but this album is ridiculously different musically than his previous work.
Also ya didn't mention the viral marketing that went into the album; do a search for it and check it out!
Thanks for the review, Gregory! You've made my day.
I honestly couldn't think up a RIYL. All I could think of was Wilco.
Any suggestions? Name some suggestions and I'll fix it.
11:14 AM on 09/23/09
andyguy
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I was a big fan of the Caedmon's Call records that Derek was a part of, but I never really listened to his solo stuff until Stockholm Syndrome. I love it. Sometimes artists that delve into the electronic styles sound a bit corny or come across with that mid-90s Ace of Base vibe. Derek has gone electronic very tastefully. Every song still contains a great melody. I'm a drummer, and the acoustic/electronic/looped drum feel of "The Spirit vs. the Kick Drum" really excites me. Very nice stuff there.
03:00 PM on 09/23/09
doppelganger
katy song
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surprised this got reviewed! wow good stuff. i love derek webb
08:46 AM on 09/24/09
Keagan Ilvonen
@KeaganIlvonen
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Theres a poster for this album in one of my schools lobbies that sparked some interest but after reading this review Greg I'm going to check this out. Great job.
08:53 AM on 09/24/09
Gregory Robson
Under Rug Swept
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Theres a poster for this album in one of my schools lobbies that sparked some interest but after reading this review Greg I'm going to check this out. Great job.
If you don't end up loving the songs "Becoming a Slave," "The State," "Freddie, Please" or "American Flag Umbrella," then I'll be shocked. They totally have the Keagan vibe. Enjoy, buddy!
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