When I first saw this guy live, it was 2011 at a Christian festival in Kentucky, called Ichthus. I’ll give you a little background on how I found out about him:
I discovered Brandon Heath in 2009 when his first single came out. I looked him up and found out that in ’08 he did a concert with Derek Webb (among others). Later on, I found out about a site called NoiseTrade. Somehow, after that, I realized that Derek had a hand in forming it, so when I found out that he was going to be performing at Ichthus, I knew I had to see him. I knew nothing about him. Only that he had played a show with one of my favorite Christian artists, and that he was involved with this awesome site I had just discovered.
It was a good thing that he mentioned that he didn’t like being labeled a “Christian singer” and that. “Christian” music shouldn’t really be labeled that way. They’re just Christians making music. Why was it a good thing? Because he wasn’t the cookie-cutter ‘Christian singer’. He really stirred up this one guy. But Derek had a great comeback though. And I loved it. I wanted to give him a big high-five and a ‘yea’ and a ‘woo hoo’. He definitely made me feel alright about my own rebellious ways. I finally found someone who wasn’t afraid of Christians and their labels and their standards.
Now, onto the reason of this post.
His music is quite artistic and truthful and straightforward. ‘Ctrl’ is no different. The instrumentation is crazy good, and the effects and tones match and move the feeling forward in each song. Acoustic, yet, with a twist. I don’t know what kind of twist, but whatever it is, it works.
My favorite song on this album is “I Feel Everything.” I love the effect he has on his vocals, and the acoustic guitar adds to the mood of the song. And the lyrics, “I cannot hear because I hear everything. I cannot see because I see everything. I cannot feel because I feel everything.” It’s pretty simple, but how true. Seriously, just think about it for a minute.
Another song I like is “Reanimate.” Again, the acoustic guitar! I love it. I’m a sucker for a voice and an acoustic guitar. And then the drums come in. Very simplistic, yet again. Derek does a great job vocal wise, with the melody. I just love how simple it is, but the feeling of it really brings it all together.
Anyway, I could go on and on. But truthfully, it is definitely something that I can see myself listening to when I need to feel inspired. It just has that inspiring aura surrounding it, deep within each note and chord and instrument and melody. I just really love it.
The picture is the album cover of ‘Ctrl’ by Derek Webb