Friday, April 25, 2008

Camp Out

Very few artists have album stamina. You know, those “one hit wonders” and the “sophomore slump.” I made that second phrase up I think, I don’t know if people really say that about music albums, but I mean those times when a good artist puts out a not-so-good, disappointing album.

Well, Jeremy Camp doesn’t disappoint. I think I came across Camp when one of his songs was featured on one of the WOW albums; must be because I rarely listen to the radio anymore. I like compilations when I’m looking for new artists to listen to and that must have been what happened here. Camp’s music has been labeled as “Christian Rock.” That is to say that Camp is a Christian and he rocks.

So I picked up his first album, Stay and liked it right away. Certainly I review works by people who claim to be Christians a little differently than people who don’t, but I haven’t found a fault in that with Camp. I find the lyrics to be doctrinally complimentary. That might not matter to one as much as it does to me, and I don’t know if a non-Christian will appreciate the songs as much as I do as a Christian, but I still recommend Camp to all because anyone can appreciate good music. I’m sure that one will find the honest emotions coming through his music to be refreshing.

Lyrics to the title song are an encouragement to remain on the Christian walk:

I can feel that in your soul
The more you reason, the more you’re shown He’s there
You can see the only way you’re falling down
Is when you’re looking everywhere
So far from this, you can’t live
So far from this

Stay right here in the light
So that you won’t walk away
Stay right here in the light
Throw your burdens all away
Throw your burdens all away

Camp wrote the lyrics and music for all the songs on the album himself except for one song [He had help from Jean Luc Lajoie on “Take My Life”]. Another good pick on the album is “Walk by Faith,” something I strive to do when I go through the unpleasant times:

Will I believe You when You say
Your hand will guide my every way
Will I receive the words You say
Every moment of every day

I will walk by faith
Even when I cannot see
because this broken road
Prepares Your will for me

Help me to rid my endless fears
You’ve been so faithful for all my years
With the one breath You made me new
Your grace covers all I do

He sings, he writes, he plays the guitar, all adding to my respect for his talent because I like a lot of his songs. I’m not talking about one or two songs per album, but practically WHOLE albums and I’ll go through that in entries soon to follow. I want to spend more time on Camp because I really like his work. Obviously, I connect to the words as well as to the music and I appreciate that the words work well with the tone of each song.

I couldn’t properly talk about Camp without pointing to some lyrics, which makes this entry long and I don’t want to make it too long. I’ll end this here for now and talk about his second album, Restored, next.

In the meantime, if one is looking for some good music, try Jeremy Camp's Stay. Mahalo.