While I haven’t spent a ton of time listening to Derek Webb and his impressive eight album solo career, I was familiar enough with his music as well as Caedmon’s Call to know that his new album, I Was Wrong, I’m Sorry and I Love You was a special one. Through a forthcoming interview I was able to learn more about the heart and soul behind the story of this record, and that made the album that much more appealing and worth my time to listen to. The album is a harkening back to what made Webb such a stand out and albeit, at times, controversial singer-songwriter, and plays off many of the same subjects once covered by his debut solo album, She Must and Shall Go Free.
But as my interview went on, I discovered that Webb never wants to look backward. He always wants to be looking forward, and once a statement has been made, there is simply no reason to go back and reiterate the same view. His views on the church, the world, and others are clear on She Must and Shall Go Free. The questions the veteran was asking in 2003, are still there. The world has changed in 10 years, and some things haven’t changed. Through songs like “Vow” and the title track, Webb paints a picture unlike anything he has done before, and does it with sheer elegance. Simple, yet provocative and thought-inducing songs litter the record. Take “Eye of the Hurricane” for example. “I am the man from which I am running / so even if I wanted to I can’t escape / this is the man that I am becoming / running in the eye of the hurricane.” Lyrics from an intensely personal moment in life, of retrospective and realization.
“Lover Part 3” is a solid reminder of how the Father has always loved us, and always will. The choir in the background adds a theatrical element to Webb’s solid acoustic stylings, similar to “Everything Will Change”. Electronic elements abound in certain tracks, like the intimate yet convicting “Closer”. “Heavy” is another deeply close song, and finds Webb more introspective than ever before. Webb has also never been one to stick with a certain style, and this time is no different. While much of the elements for his first album are present, the music is not something he could have accomplished 10 years ago. This is a true work of art from a sincerely gifted artist. This record is, in Webb’s words, one that has taken him the last 10 years to write. What we find is a more structured, focused, and deeply personal Derek Webb who isn’t afraid to wear his heart on his sleeve.