“Don’t give me medication/I want the real sensation,” declares Derek Webb in the midst of his 2004 album I See Things Upside Down. The ex-Caedmon’s Call singer/songwriter cuts through Christian clichés to search for the presence of God on this outstanding album. In the process, he creates music of unusual freshness and intellectual depth, emphasized by a quirky production approach that recalls John Lennon and early Elton John. Over tracks matching acoustic guitar and piano with electronica touches, Webb sings of his own struggles with ego and materialism. Songs like “I Want a Broken Heart,” “I Repent” and “T-Shirts” confront spiritual pride and hypocrisy with a rare degree of candor. “Medication” finds him demanding unadulterated truth, while “Ballad In Plain Red” examines how commercialism seduces faith. Beyond such scathing commentaries, Webb looks at relationships through a Biblical lens in tunes like “Better Than Wine” and “Nothing Is Ever Enough.” Finally, “What Is Not Love” lays out his rigorous Christian vision in stirring poetic terms. -iTunes
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