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Caedmon's Call's new release lacks substance of early work

Oct. 10, 2000



It looks like Caedmon's got its calling wrong this time. In 1997, Caedmon's Call defined and made popular Christian coffeehouse music with a self-titled CD.

Three years later, Caedmon's Call has strayed from its raw originality. Their new CD, Long Line of Leavers, is kind of like oatmeal -- it had some tasty moments, but there was nothing to chew on. It is expected of Caedmon's Call to deliver piercing lyrics and tunes to be performed on the acoustic guitar around the campfire.

Unfortunately, great expectations are not met. To be fair, there are some jazzy songs. The Only One and Love is Different make you want to roll down your car windows and raise the volume up a few decibels. But for the most part, the songs are pretty weak.

The CD seems to reflect that Derek Webb, a vocalist, instrumentalist and a song-writer in the band, wants to kiss marriage hello. Webb revealed some of these feelings in Table for Two from their 40 Acres CD. In the Long Line of Leavers CD, Webb shares a Ballad of San Francisco in which he laments singleness: So where, oh where can I find someone, anyone/ 'Cause there's no way outta here/ Years ago I told you how I loved to be alone/ These days I'd be perjuring myself. It is depressing how Webb exhibits his misery. Perhaps he should team up with Barbara Streisand and Cry Me a River.

Even though the lyrics sound a bit tired, and Caedmon's Call does not have the same spunk they once had, they will always be well received. Still, it is painful to realize Caedmon's Call is in a slump. This CD has done nothing to redeem that recession