She Must and Shall Go Free
After ten years with the critically acclaimed group Caedmon's Call, Derek Webb set out to pursue his creative vision. Proof of his conviction comes in the form of his first solo release, entitled She Must and Shall Go Free. What Webb has accomplished with the opus is a grand statement about love, the church, and life through the eyes of a man that humbly serves Christ. With cuts like the title track and "Lover," Webb paints a rich musical picture with an acoustic brush stroke that floods the canvas. "Nothing" is a country joyride with a honky tonk groove, while the simplicity of the acoustic guitar on "Wedding Dress" drips with reverence. There are so many poignant moments on the opus that each cut tells a story with a bold commitment to truth. The country-tinged "Saint and Sinner" could have come from the Lost Dogs, while "Take to the World" is sung with Jars of Clay's Dan Haseltine, creating an instant pop classic. The theme most visited is the relationship with the church and the frailties of humans. Closing out the disc is the opulent cut "The Church." The tune is sung from Christ's perspective, relaying the need for believers to uplift the church body. The tune is a fitting end to the opus as a piano melody is bolstered by swelling harmonies between Webb and his wife, Sandra McCracken. She Must and Shall Go Free is easily one of the best-written releases of the year. It's richness and worshipful tone could win Webb Artist of the Year honors.