what matters more

If you’re on Derek Webb’s mailing list, you would have known that there is a level of controversy surrounding his forthcoming new album, Stockholm Syndrome. Basically, it seems to be all about his record company disapproving of his Campolo-esque use of the word ‘shit’ in the song What Matters More.

While the album doesn’t drop until 1 September 2009, Webb recently announced a pre-order option on his website [http://www.derekwebb.com/store/], allowing the customer to receive an immediate digital download of the album, complete with the unedited controversial song. Because I am a huge D.Webb fan [and have been ever hearing Somewhere North for the first time ten years ago], I went ahead and ordered the album; on top of the download, I will receive two physical copies of Stockholm Syndrome (both the ‘clean’ and ‘explicit’ version) at my door on or before release day, September 1, 2009. Bonus.

Before bed, Lauren and I took a listen to the song, and this is what we heard.

You say you always treat people like you like to be
I guess you love being hated for your sexuality
You love when people put words in your mouth
‘Bout what you believe, make you sound like a freak
‘Cause if you really believe what you say you believe
You wouldn’t be so damn reckless with the words you speak
Wouldn’t silently conceal when the liars speak
Denyin’ all the dyin’ of the remedy

Tell me, brother, what matters more to you?
Tell me, sister, what matters more to you?

If I can tell what’s in your heart by what comes out of your mouth
Then it sure looks to me like being straight is all it’s about
It looks like being hated for all the wrong things
Like chasin’ the wind while the pendulum swings
‘Cause we can talk and debate until we’re blue in the face
About the language and tradition that he’s comin’ to save
Meanwhile we sit just like we don’t give a shit
About 50,000 people who are dyin’ today

Tell me, brother, what matters more to you?
Tell me, sister, what matters more to you?

The message of the song is pretty self-explanatory, and I will review it in three simple words. I like it. To express the reality that Christians focus on issues like homosexuality while ‘we sit just like we don’t give a shit
about 50,000 people who are dyin’ today’ is not really a new sentiment; but the fact that it remains true day after day is frustrating enough to write a fresh song about it and hopefully wake some people up. If the listener, like the record label, takes issue with the content of this song … well, they should give it another listen.

For me, the bigger issue with this album is the departure in terms of musical presentation. Webb’s bread and butter is his one man + acoustic guitar act; that’s what I have always loved about him. Stockholm features a very electronic vibe, reminiscent of Mute Math. I haven’t listened to it enough to decide if I love it, but I like what I hear from the few random sings that I have listened to.

It is ace to have some new tunes for our trip to Holland, which begins tomorrow. I’ll be listening to this album from Aberdeen to Amsterdam to Den Bosch and all points in between.

On that note, time to finish packing and jammy up. The airport taxi arrives @ 5am.

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