I See Things Upside Down is a record that’s true to its name from start to finish by one of the co-founders of Caedmon’s Call. Unlike She Must and Shall Go Free, this project is not a concept record but does have a predominant theme that travels from song to song. I See Things Upside Down explores the topic of value and what it looks like in different aspects of faith and culture, but not always from the most obvious angle. The theme of value is traced not only through issues of the Church and culture but more personally through stories and relationships.
“What are the things that we American Christians value in our culture and how is that different and often ‘upside down’ from true Kingdom values? I’ve found that often success looks more like failure, riches more like poverty, and that real life often feels more like death,” Derek said in a press release.
In addition to challenging us to look at our values, Derek said that what he wants is simple ... to make good music that will engage culture and people and make them think. He explained in a press release, "I tried hard to make a record that I believe is good art. Since the Renaissance, the church has been short on good art and long on mediocre but explicit art. My hope is to make a quality record in order to respectfully engage culture."
The unique sound of the record comes from an unusual recording style. Derek started out recording acoustic guitar and vocals in the back bedroom of his house. The full arrangements were then built around that in the studio with Kenny Meeks on guitar, Paul Moak and Will Sayles respectively on guitar and drums, Cason Cooley on piano and organs and veteran Matt Pierson on bass.
Derek headed up the production of the album, but he credits his band and engineers for additional production support. “I produced the new record, but you could say all of us produced it. My band on this record was made up of such strong artists there was almost no need for a producer. We just went in and trusted our instincts,” said Derek.
As he did with She Must and Shall Go Free, Derek personally wrote a majority of the songs on this album. His personal experiences and observations were what provided his inspiration. According to Derek, I See Things Upside Down is made up of “12 musical snap-shots of the last two years of my life.” Although two songs on this album were not written by Derek, they were songs he felt a strong tie to. We Come To You was written by friend and songwriting partner from Caedmon’s Call, Aaron Tate. The other song was a collaboration of sorts. The lyrics for The Strong, The Tempted and The Weak were written by John Kent, a hymn writer from the 19th century. Derek added an updated melody to better fit his style.
Derek will be spending a great deal of time this fall touring the country (performing mainly in colleges and churches) to help promote I See Things Upside Down. Shifting gears from playing intimate settings such as small churches and even living rooms supporting She Must and Shall Go Free, Derek is looking forward to hitting the road again backed by a full band.
As a member of the Houston, Texas-based Caedmon’s Call, Webb has seen career sales approaching 1 million records, 10 Dove Award nominations, two Dove wins, a Billboard Music Video Award nod, and six #1 radio hits. His first solo project, She Must and Shall Go Free and the live recording The House Show, both received high praise from listeners and critics alike.