Home > Music News, New Sounds > Derek Webb’s worship album – FEEDBACK (an atheist’s perspective)

Derek Webb’s worship album – FEEDBACK (an atheist’s perspective)

2nd Nov 10 (Tue) Leave a comment Go to comments

So, overnight (midnight CST), Derek Webb put out his new album Feedback.  I’ve been a fan of Derek Webb since I first got into his band Caedmon’s Call back in 1996.  They’re a christian band… and I’ve since “left the church,” as it were.  I mentioned this in my review of his show in Portland this past spring… even as an atheist, I find his music to be well conceived and well executed.  He’s not a discriminatingly judgmental person.  If he writes a judging lyric, it’s usually full of fingers a-blazin’ at himself first.

He also tackles many issues that I think are relevant and important to everyone (not just christians).  “What Matters More” from 2009’s Stockholm Syndrome is one of my most favorite songs he’s put out (that album was stellar all around)…

Anyway… back to his new album FeedbackFeedback is a self-proclaimed “worship album.”  I first heard about that moniker and was worried.  I mean, what does an atheist desire to hear in a “worship” album?  Not much, that’s what. I’ve heard many since leaving the church (Jars of Clay, Leigh Nash from Sixpence, other miscellaneous compilations with Derek and/or Caedmon’s Call), and… no offense is meant when I say this, but they really make me cringe.  It’s the “subject matter,” and I know it’s not intended for me… so I move on.  No harm, no foul.

Well,when I found out it was an instrumental worship album, well, again… no offense is meant, but it made me really happy.  I’ve listened to the album in full by now (10pm PST on Nov 1st is midnight CST on Nov 2nd), and I dig it.  It’s an “instrumental album based on the Lord’s Prayer.”

Worship is a complicated idea. Arguably, it’s what we all do, 24 hours a day (regardless of what we’re worshipping). And I’m aware of a lot of “worship product” in the marketplace I sometimes occupy. So I was cautious when I first started receiving the coordinates that would lead me to make ‘Feedback’. It was immediately conceptual and ambitious, so much so that I genuinely wasn’t sure I could do it. But this seemed to be the perfect posture in which to create something worthy of being called a “worshipful” piece of art. So I studied, meditated, struggled and prayed my way through this creative process, and it’s easily the most challenging thing I’ve done in my career. But I believe it’s been worth it, even just for the ways it’s stretched both my creative process and my faith as a follower of the Way. –Derek Webb

I could definitely see this being created (and used by listeners) in a worshipful manner.  I also love the general aesthetics of it.  It’s definitely got some electronic elements, but it has a more sweeping feel as well.  Some of it feels like a mix of a happier ambiance of Amiina/Sigur Rós meets an acoustic-electronic bridge in a Sufjan Stevens song meets a gentle Ric Hordinski lyrical guitar solo (I am in a Monk mood).  It’s a great quality instrumental album from a man who I loved via his witty voice from the get go.  It’s nice to see him expand outside his comfort zone.

While I don’t want to make a big deal about the christian and atheist thing… the slant of the record’s purpose (worship) makes me look at it from that angle.  I don’t think it needs to be that way.  But in the way the album is framed from a songwriting, production, and marketing point of view… yes, I definitely see this album as a conduit for worship.  As an atheist, I take it as a conduit into introspection and the worship of the divine as I see it – music.

Here’s a trailer for the short films that accompany the album:

Find out more at:

Oh, today is also November 2nd – aka Election Day.  Regardless of who you vote for… don’t forget to do just that… VOTE.  It’s important.

~Dan – np: Monk (Ric Hordinski) – Quiver

  1. 2nd Nov 10 (Tue) at 12:55 pm

    Thanks for this review. I appreciate your thoughts on the album, and the purpose behind the album. good stuff.

  2. Bill B
    2nd Nov 10 (Tue) at 10:28 pm

    I purchased Derek Webb’s Feedback. I am a newer fan (having jumped on the bandwagon after hearing Stockholm Syndrome.) I have only given Feedback a couple listens, but find that I am loving it more and more with each listen.

    Myself, I am a christian, but I appreciate the fact that you, a self-proclaimed atheist, can enjoy this album. Thanks for you review.

  3. Matt
    2nd Nov 10 (Tue) at 11:33 pm

    I’m a former Christian who also enjoys Derek Webb’s music and honesty, so I enjoyed your review. I do have to call you on telling people to just vote though. I think it is more destructive having unprincipled and uneducated votes than no votes at all.

    • 3rd Nov 10 (Wed) at 5:54 am

      Agreed. I figure my friends and other people reading this blog post may be a little more educated on issues. It’s much more than “just vote.” That’s all I had time to type. :)

  4. peterlantz
    4th Nov 10 (Thu) at 11:16 pm

    thanks for reviewing the album thats awesome

  5. 18th Nov 10 (Thu) at 1:56 pm

    i really want to hear this! i’ve heard some on groovshark and i’m pretty much needing it, love good instrumentals.

    also, and no offense, but don’t you have to at least be agnostic? none of us can know that there isn’t a god out there unless we have searched the entire universe and then some. I want that to be an honest question, i’m just chillin right now, no beef at all.


    • 18th Nov 10 (Thu) at 3:50 pm

      agnostic is the adjective I’d ascribe to myself. atheist being the noun. I don’t know, but where I end up on the scheme of things is that I am without a belief in theism (a la “a-theist”). As far as the Christian Bible God, I’m pretty damn sure that if there is a “god” out there, though… it’s not the God of the Bible.

      Thanks for the comment. :)


  1. 4th Nov 10 (Thu) at 8:16 am
  2. 30th Nov 10 (Tue) at 12:54 pm
  3. 30th Dec 10 (Thu) at 12:48 pm
  4. 22nd Jan 11 (Sat) at 6:26 am

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