Monday, April 28, 2008

Camp on Fire

The Jeremy Camp train doesn’t seem to end and I hope it doesn’t. Stay was released in 2002 and it is good; Carried Me: The Worship Project in 2004; Restored topped those later in 2004.

Next came the live Unplugged in 2006. On the album are live versions of: “Understand”; “Right Here”; “Take You Back”; “Stay”; “Walk By Faith”; “Empty Me”; “Restored”; “My Desire”; “I Still Believe”; “Beautiful One”; and “This Man”. During Thanksgiving a few years ago, I listened to the radio a lot and one station played live versions of hit songs from various artists. That’s when I came to really appreciate live music. I mean, I’ve always appreciated live music, but maybe it made me more aware that there are a lot of live albums out there.

Well, if I can sense the emotions through Camp’s studio albums, I really get them in the live versions. As I’ve said in previous entries, “Take You Back” is one of my favorite songs and it sounds great in the studio and live. So if one likes live versions or want a sort of introduction to Camp’s music, the Unplugged album is a good one to start with.

Camp continues to rock on Beyond Measure [2006]. I liked the first album; I liked the second more than that; the live album’s even better; and Beyond Measure is beyond expectation. I love it. How often does it happen that an artist continually tops his previous work? The music just gets better with each album, so let’s take a look at some lyrics:

Tonight, I will take my cross
Tonight, I will count this cost
Tonight, I realize to take hold of this very moment

In this time, You draw me by these words You’ve spoken
I feel inside, this neverending hope
I’ve placed all that I trust in knowing one day I will see You
The only thing worth holding onto is holding onto me

Beyond Measure
The fog has finally cleared to see
The beautiful life You’ve given me
To feel the breeze of my newborn’s gentle breath
With one to walk hand in hand
To share this life that You have planned
It’s like a storybook with dreams that are meant to see
every next step is an extraordinary scene

I know that I’ve been given more than beyond measure
I come alive when I see beyond my fears
I know that I’ve been given more than earthly treasure
I come alive when I’ve broken down and given You control

Again, Camp has a hand if not sole [and soul] responsibility for every one of his songs and all of it comes through in the music. It seems that his music continues to grow as he grows. In that way, his albums are a great companion as I grow myself.

As I’ve said, I went through a struggle as recently as last year. I am very selfish in those low moments and can forget that this life isn’t ultimately about me. To that effect, “Take A Little Time” is a good reminder:

I picture all the things that I have seen
All the broken hearts and tainted memories
All I see are all these needs
I’m tired of my selfish tragedies
It’s time that we show the hope that we all know

Take just a little time
To give your hand, see the world
And take just a little time and try to understand
That there’s more going on
Than what these eyes can see

And as a gentle shove to make a break from my guilt and grab onto God’s forgiveness, I love “Let It Fade.” It’s one of Camp’s softer songs but with a great message as is in all of his songs. It’s easily another favorite of mine:

Have you been walking on a surface that’s uncertain?
Have you helped yourself to everything that’s empty?
You can’t live this way too long
There’s more than this, more than this

Have you been standing on your own feet too long?
Have you been looking for a place where you belong?
You can rest, you will find rest

Let this old life crumble, let it fade
Let this new life offered be your saving grace
Let this old life crumble, let it fade, let it fade

Have you been holding on to what this world has offered?
Have you been giving in to all these masquerades?
It will be gone, forever gone
It will be gone, it will be gone

The link to Camp’s website is below. He can also be found on Myspace with some videos on YouTube. The other links connects to an early and then more recent biography on Jeremy Camp. Find out some of the history behind the music and one will find that I was right; a lot of personal experience and feeling is there.

Thus concludes the Camp line for now; hopefully there will be more Camp to come! Oh, and if one noticed, I didn’t review Carried Me; I don’t have it. So, if one is feeling particularly generous…! Nah. Mahalo.
Early biography on Camp
More recent biography on Camp