over the last half a year, i’ve blogged about derek webb’s latest innovative project called democracy vol. 1. earlier this year, fans could 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 has been in the process of being recorded over the span of 2010, with 1 track being recorded and released each month. over the past 5 months, webb released the first four tracks, which was the beatles’ while my guitar gently weeps, a so-so version of coldplay’s fix you, a pretty good version of bob dylan’s the times they are a-changin’, an incredible version of gnarls barkley’s who’s gonna save my soul and a pretty good version of sufjan stevens’ magnum opus (yes?) chicago.
june’s track is u2’s where the streets have no name from their 1987 masterpiece, the joshua tree. whereas i didn’t vote for the track, i was certainly glad to see it make the cut. this may be sacrilege to some, but i’m really not that much of a fan of where the streets have no name. i just never got into it. but webb does a really, really good version. for the ultimate in sacrilege, i think i actually enjoy his stripped down version better than the original (i’m waiting for lightning strikes…).
this may be the most fully realized cover he’s done yet for democracy. it’s definitely highly deconstructed, but there’s a certain fullness of sound and spirit that has been a bit lacking on some of the other tracks. his cover of gnarls barkley’s who’s gonna save my soul was sufficiently produced, but this track seems to make a lot of sense within the context of webb’s catalogue and singing/musical style.
but, don’t take my word for it. check it out for yourself. here’s the track.
derek webb / where the streets have no name: