democracy wins: derek webb completes his covers project with ‘come thou fount of every blessing’

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Wednesday, January 5th, 2011

derek webb democracy vol. 1

democracy wins: derek webb completes his covers project with ‘come thou fount of every blessing’

it is finished.

since last january, i’ve been blogging about derek webb’s latest innovative project called democracy vol. 1. fans were able to cast votes for up to 12 songs that they wanted webb to cover. then, the 12 songs receiving the most votes would be covered by webb for the album. the album was recorded over the span of 2010, with 1 track being recorded and released each month. from january to november, webb released the first eleven tracks. here’s the current track listing:

1. the beatles: while my guitar gently weeps
2. coldplay: fix you
3. bob dylan: the times they are a-changin’
4. gnarls barkley: who’s gonna save my soul
5. sufjan stevens: chicago
6. u2: where the streets have no name
7. huey lewis and the news: power of love
8. the beatles: eleanor rigby
9. simon and garfunkel: the sound of silence
10. radiohead: karma police
11. leonard cohen: hallelujah

instead of releasing the the full list of tracks, webb revealed each track month-by-month. and today, we found out the twelfth and final one.

december’s (yes, he’s a tad bit late…) track is the classic hymn, come thou fount of every blessing.

if i’m just being completely honest, this track was a bit of a letdown. it’s not so much that i don’t like it (because i very much do), but more that it’s not really a cover. the beauty of a covers project is to hear how the artist reinterprets a well-known song by another artist. there’s an inherent and interesting contrast, but with a rendition of a hymn—even when done very well like this one—it’s simply another rendition of a hymn (and one of my favorite hymns, i might add). i guess i was just hoping for a “surprise” to end the year.

as for the track itself, it’s good. maybe not great, but very good. again, this is one of my favorite hymns and webb certainly does it justice. it’s a relatively straight forward piano version (relative to webb’s sensibilities). you have a bit of a backing loop, but it’s primarily just webb showcasing piano (which i assume he played?) and his voice. in many ways, maybe it’s a fitting way to cap what was a crazy week for him (i’m not gonna link to the foolish blog post, but if you simply google “derek webb frank turk”, you can find it rather quickly).

as always, though, don’t take my word for it. check it out for yourself. here’s the track.

derek webb / come thou fount of every blessing:

3 Comments

  1. Sam Heard says:

    Agree on the hymn issue. Not really any way that’s a
    “cover”. But he’s really good at flirting with whatever line folks
    draw. I really enjoyed the way he released “mockingbird” for free.
    That whole process > ranting about government, &
    stereotypes. I fell in love. My Enemies Are Men Like Me. Thanks.
    (to you – & twitter) Glad I found this. Looking forward to
    reading more.

  2. Jeffrey says:

    Ryan you know I have a love/hate relationship with the music of derek webb, but this intrigues me. I did not know he was doing such a cover project. Some of these are really weird choices for him, but I guess I will have to check them out. As for the last one being a hymn, well, I don’t really care for hymns in general, but at least in this case it should be interesting to hear what he had done with it.

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