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Derek Webb

The Ringing Bell

(INO; US: 1 May 2007; UK: Available as import)

Christian rock is a term that rarely leaves people indifferent. But Derek Webb seems to put that moniker on the shelf with smart, highbrow and terribly melodic pop songs. Oh, they happen to have a Christian message, but the music speaks for itself. While favorably compared to Brendan Benson among others, Webb opts for a strong number like “The End” to get things rolling, bringing to mind a distant cousin of The Beatles’ “Hey Jude”. From there Webb makes another right move with the grittier, edgier “The Very End” that resembles John Ralston while “A Love That’s Stronger Than Our Fear” is something that Spoon would be very, very jealous of. And who else would be able to talk about reading the Bible and making out with a girl in the same breath? By far the highlight is the gorgeous “I Wanna Marry You All Over Again” which is a gem of a tune. The album’s consistency is probably the real surprise here as “Name” and “Can’t Be Without You” makes one yearn for more regardless of wherever the hell, oops, heck it came from.

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Originally from Cape Breton, MacNeil is currently writing for the Toronto Sun as well as other publications, including All Music Guide, Billboard.com, NME.com, Country Standard Time, Skope Magazine, Chart Magazine, Glide, Ft. Myers Magazine and Celtic Heritage. A graduate of the University of King's College, MacNeil currently resides in Toronto. He has interviewed hundreds of acts ranging from Metallica and AC/DC to Daniel Lanois and Smokey Robinson. MacNeil (modestly referred to as King J to friends), a diehard Philadelphia Flyers fan, has seen the Rolling Stones in a club setting, thereby knowing he will rest in peace at some point down the road. Oh, and he writes for PopMatters.com.


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Forget the swearing, Webb's created an album that's mesmerizing in its fullness.
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