Derek Webb’s Stockholm Syndrome is designed to make waves and upset the complacent. While the ex-Caedmon’s Call member has long shown a maverick streak, this album is confrontational even by his standards. Webb challenges fellow Christians at every turn, avoiding feel-good spirituality in favor of scathing satire. Tracks like “The Spirit vs. the Kick Drum” and “What You Give Up to Get It” attack hypocrisy with razor-keen wit, while “Becoming a Slave” and “Jenna & Jimmy” grapple with moral compromise. “Freddie, Please” (a weird fusion of doo-wop and electronica) and “American Flag Umbrella” (set to a ghostly, piano-centered track) take some bold swipes at bigotry. Avoiding his usual folk-rock ambiance, Webb surrounds his vocals with eerie samples and throbbing cyborg beats as he preaches a set of mind-prodding sermons that refuse to observe polite standards. By any measure, Stockholm Syndrome stands as one of the most controversial — and compelling — Christian releases of the year. -iTunes
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