Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Jeremy Camp - Beyond Measure Review

Artist: Jeremy Camp
Album Title: Beyond Measure
Year: 2006
Genre: Christian Contemporary, Pop, Rock
For Fans Of: Keane, Kutless, MercyMe, Scott Stapp, among others

In the past four years, Jeremy Camp has released four albums and gained popularity in the Christian Music scene. His first CD, "Stay", was critically acclaimed and had several number 1 singles. The next CD, 2004's "Carried Me: The Worship Project" also did fairly well. His last CD, "Restored", wasn't as highly thought of. Some pegged it as generic rock, while others just thought it wasn't up to par with Camp's debut CD. Despite the criticism, "Restored" and it's lead single, "Take You Back", did pretty well.

Which brings us to "Beyond Measure", Camp's fourth album released on October 31, 2006. On this CD, Camp takes a different approach lyrically and musically. This leads to different but better results than those found on "Restored".

The very Camp-like "Tonight" opens the CD. With a modern rock sound and broken pride theme, it showcases why exactly so many people like Jeremy. He's honest, talented and has the ability to write good rock songs. "Tonight", a very strong track, is the perfect example of that.

"What It Means", a piano-based worship song, is next on the CD. Musically, this isn't one of the stronger tracks on the CD, but is still a decent song. It is carried by Camp's lyrics, which have grown increasingly more personal on "Beyond Measure".

The title track, "Beyond Measure", follows. Yet another piano-based song, it is Camp's most personal to date. He talks of what the last 5 years of his life have been like. Verse 1 seems to tell the story of how his life is now("The fog has finally cleared to see/the beautiful life you've give 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"), as he is happily married to fellow Christian artist Adie, formerly of the Benjamin Gate. Verse 2 talks about the loss of his first wife("I've faced a great tragedy/But have seen the works of what you bring") and overcoming that. Finally, the chorus states that Camp's been "given more than beyond measure". Definitely one of the strongest tracks on the CD.

Track 4 on the CD, the pop/rock song "Let It Fade" talks of letting go of our old ways and finding new hope in Christ. Another solid track by Camp that will appeal to his fan base. "Feels Like", the next track, is similar to "Let It Fade" in that it is another pop/rock song with good lyrics, although it is admittedly not as strong of a track.

Camp gets back to the piano-based stuff on "When You Are Near". Much like "What It Means", it isn't a particularly great track but is at least decent with good lyrics.

"No Matter What It Takes" brings the CD back to the rock sound that many, including myself, appreciate about Camp. Camp speaks of giving everything to God to live out His plan for his life. Like the other straight-up rock song on this CD, "Tonight", this is a very strong track.

Jeremy's wife, Adie, does backing vocals on the pop-rock song "A Little Time". While not as good as the previous track, it is still good with a great message about doing whatever we can to help those in need.

"Everything" is yet another pop/rock song that bears resemblance to some of Camp's earlier work, particularly found on his debut CD. With a lyrical theme of trying to fill a void(with material things) that only God can fill, it is an above average track.

"I Am Nothing", a softer track, is a reminder of the fact that we are nothing without God's Grace, while "Give You Glory" is a straight-up pop/rock worship song. "Give Me Jesus", this is simple yet beautiful, ends the album on a good note.

Overall Impression:

This is easily better than Camp's last CD, "Restored". However, I do not feel it is on the level of his superb debut CD "Stay". With solid vocals, lyrics and music, this is a must have for any Camp fan. Fans of Christian contemporary, pop, and rock, as well as those who like the bands mentioned in the "For Fans Of" section, would also be wise to consider this album.

Rating: 8/10


girlzon1 said...

Can't wait to see Jeremy Camp in concert!!


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