Feedback | 4 stars
For the past decade, Derek Webb has been one of Christian music's provocateurs, challenging mainstream evangelicals' stands on issues including money, politics and social causes. Album to album, he has surprised listeners either with the forcefulness of the stands he has taken and even his choice of words (last year's Stockholm Syndrome) or by completely refocusing on, say, domestic life (The Ampersand EP, with his wife, Sandra McCracken).
On Feedback, Webb takes another radical turn. He shuts up and lets the words of Jesus Christ's most powerful prayer speak through his music.
The album is an instrumental effort at interpreting the Lord's Prayer in a modern context. Far from the grand heavenly sounds of, say, a spiritual oratorio, Feedback is primarily set in the world of rock bands, acoustic and electronic music, representing a culmination of Webb's work, from his band Caedmon's Call to his latest solo material.
And most of the music is meditative, such as Give Us This Day, variations on a guitar riff with a steady beat that sound like a walk or drive to work. The interpretations are uniformly interesting, including the graceful Forgive Us Our Debts and the earnest, occasionally jaunty but not overwhelming electronic For Thine Is A) The Kingdom B) The Power C) The Glory ...
Feedback stands on its own as a piece of music, and if you know what's behind it, it will make you think about the Lord's Prayer, without the words getting in the way.