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The Ringing Bell

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Editors’ Notes

Derek Webb is one of Christian music’s bonafide cult heroes, and while he may not be in sync with the genre’s prevailing trends, he commands a passionate following thanks to the idiosyncratic excellence of his work. This time, he surrounds himself with Beatles-esque pop/rock arrangements and comes up with an album reminiscent of Ron Sexsmith, Sam Phillips and similarly ‘60s-inspired singer/songwriters. Webb uses astringent guitars and choppy rhythms to underscore mind-prodding tunes like “A Love That’s Stronger Than Our Fear” and “A Savior on Capitol Hill.” The galloping pace of “Name” and the chiming tones of “Can’t Be Without You” are especially evocative of the Flower Power era. Webb draws the listener in with those appealingly retro sounds, but it’s his perceptive lyrics that really hit home — tracks like “I Don’t Want to Fight,””I for an I,” and the mostly-acoustic “This Too Shall Be Made Right” confront suffering with keen wit and unsparing honesty. First track to last, The Ringing Bell resonates with intelligence and spirit.

Customer Reviews

Good album, but leaves me missing the old Webb

I like this album. "I Don't Want to Fight" is an awsome song that seems to be Webb wrestling with what evangelism looks like. "I Wanna Marry You All Over Again" is a sweet and honest song about romantic love. I appreciate Webb's desire to be the best artist he can be, and I hope he continues to seek that out. I do, however, miss the simplicity and brutal reflection present in "She Must and Shall Go Free" and even some of his work with Cademon's Call. My friend pointed out to me that it seems that Webb has traded some of his introspection for politically critical lyrics to counteract the Religious Right. We need artists who are willing to do that, but we also need artists who are willing to point the finger right back at themselves. Keep up the good work, Webb, but please don't be afraid to bring back some of the introspective and self-critical ideas that were present in your earlier works. Thanks for making great music!

Great Record

Clocking in at 30 minutes and 30 seconds, I like to describe The Ringing Bell as 'short and sweet'. One thing I've always secretly desired is to hear some new songs from Derek that sound more like his old, Caedmon's Call stuff. And there are a couple songs that really fulfilled that for me. In fact, the song 'Can't Be With You' was actually meant for the Caedmon's record 'Long Line of Leavers' but never got put on the record. So that was awesome. He does this while still keeping his newer, more controversal style of writing saying things like, "I'm trading comfort for human life, and that's not just murder its suicide..." and, refering to politicians, "I'm so tired of these mortal men with their hands on their wallets and their hearts full of sin. Scared of their enemies and scared of their friends, and they're always running for a reelection..." Its all around very good and thought provoking. Even if you don't necessarily agree with his views and standpoints, Derek's music strikes up much needed conversation, especially for Christians in this "Christians-aren't-Christians-unless-they're-republicans" subculture. He strikes up the conversation. And that's awesome. Lyrically, this is a beautiful record. The record is more rock than I've ever really heard from Derek and its something that I think he pulls off well. He always seems to find the best musicians to play his records and I think that musically, this is an awesome record. Its well worth the 9 bucks.

Another step

Derek's new album is from yet another genre. Like I See Things Upside Down, this album lets him be able stay away from any set musical style. The Ringing Bell sounds like unplugged Dylan to The Beatles, and it's main focus is to promote peace. The album starts out with the double The End and The Very End. Moving on to A Love Thats Stronger Than Our Fear, which sports raw electirc and stronger drumming, you begin to see this album is different. I Wanna Marry You All Over Again is one of the the two songs about his wife on this album, the other is Can't Be Without You. I Don't Want To Fight is a great song about peace and love, which was inspired by an encounter he had. Name sounds more British, and you can see some great artwork for this song if you buy the graphic book from Derek's website. I for an I is still another peace song, while A Savior On Capitol Hill is more of a controled rant. And the best song on the album must be This To Shall Be Made Right. Buy the album and check the website for his book, anything he does is great. Addition....... In reply to Annie Onymous TX. If you buy the real album, and open the artwork, you will see that each man is holding a weapon. This has a lot of significance, and sybolism.


Born: May 27, 1974 in Memphis, TN

Genre: Christian & Gospel

Years Active: '00s

Although he works out of the thematically conservative contemporary Christian pop genre, singer/songwriter and guitarist Derek Webb has an agitator's soul and a flair for the controversial, approaches he uses in his music to force careful thought on vitally important issues. Born on May 27, 1974, in Memphis, TN, Webb attended high school in Texas, and was one of the founding members of the Houston-based Christian pop group Caedmon's Call when they formed in 1993, and he remained with the group through...
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The Ringing Bell, Derek Webb
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Customer Ratings