Justin McRoberts creates another piece of engaging and thought-provoking folk art with Deconstruction, his sixth LP. The album picks up where Grace Must Wound left off, although this time around the singer's focus is on unraveling commonly held perceptions.
Because each of McRobert's albums sound so similar, it is easy to dismiss him as a one trick pony and label Deconstruction as "more of the same." However, to do so would be a gross oversight. What McRoberts does, he does well, and his songwriting continues to ripen with every new project.
Deconstruction finds McRoberts in a pensive mood, questioning issues such as gluttonous patriotism ("America and the Soul"), misguided music critics ("Deconstruction"), and man's ability to understand concepts such as love and forgiveness on his own ("Common Sense"). While listening to the album, I found myself comparing it to what is arguably Derek Webb's greatest work, Mockingbird. Like Webb, McRoberts is not afraid to speak plainly and openly about what he sees as problems within the Church, and he calls followers of Christ out on issues they may prefer to keep quiet. On the title track, McRoberts poignantly sums up a frustration that seems to be growing among artists who are Christian (as well as people like myself) by writing, "They say it's not about performance. They say it's all about the heart. But every critic with his pen or his computer talks about effectiveness and not about the art."
The only issue I have with McRoberts on this album is that sometimes his lyrics get lost within his arrangements and hypnotic voice. At times I found myself focusing only on the sound of the song and completely missing the meaning. Because McRoberts' voice is so powerful, it can overshadow his lyrics and the listener can inadvertently reduce the album to background music. That being said, if one takes time to soak in both the music and the lyrics, he will find Deconstruction to be a rich and rewarding listen.- Review date: 2/22/09, written by Laura Nunnery of Jesusfreakhideout.com
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