On Tuesday, August 24th, BEC Recordings artist Jeremy Camp released his 6th studio album and 2nd worship album. Is 6.5 years worth the wait in between worship albums??? For a guy who recently updated his bio to include the fact that he was originally signed to do worship, I find that 6.5 years is not too long since he includes worship in some form on all of the other studio albums and in his 2 live recordings. If Jeremy had not had some form of worship to God on any of the 4 non-worship albums then 6.5 years would be too long. I realize there are people out there who would beg to differ with me. Either they would surmise that there is no need for a worship album or that Jeremy needs to do that type of CD more often. Then there is the argument about the songs. The one I have seen the most for We Cry Out is that there are too many cover songs. There are 5 songs that Jeremy did not write or co-write on. I have the sheet music for 1 of them and have heard 2 of the others during his concerts. In my opinion he does an excellent job on those covers. In videos he has recorded that went behind the scenes on the making of the album, Jeremy states that he did not want the album to be all about him or what he wrote. He wanted the album to be about songs that impacted him and furthered his walk with God. In other words…the album is all about God. The purpose of doing music is not to draw glory to self but to draw glory to God which is where it belongs. If that means singing songs that others wrote, then I’m all for it.
As for the songs on the album…let’s take them in order.
The first song I had and didn’t even realize was the first track: “Jesus Saves”. I’m a member at WorshipTogether.com. They offer free sheet music for various songs that you can download each week. One of those songs was “Jesus Saves”. I read the lyrics to that song last November when the sheet music was offered and proceeded to download it as I liked what I saw. When I heard that Jeremy was doing that song and even after I heard that song on the radio earlier this summer, it never occurred to me that I had the song. Then I was reminded of WorshipTogether.com and checked it out for new free songs to get sheet music for, that’s when I discovered that I had that music already albeit a slightly different arrangement from what Jeremy sings.
When I first heard Jeremy sing that song, I was excited for 2 reasons. First was that fact that there was a single finally for the new album. Second was that fact that I loved the lyrics and message of the song (which is the more important reason). It is a song that makes me want to jump up and down around in circles similar to what Jeremy does in concert when he sings “I’m Alive” (only without the guitar strapped to me). It reminds us as Christians that we need to be bold and let everyone we come in contact with that Jesus is the answer. He will save us from ourselves and from hell if we let Him. And yes I need to work on proclaiming to everyone the love for Jesus that I have and that He has for us…complete, unconditional, no questions asked love.
The second song is “Not Ashamed” (And no this is not the same as the song by the NewsBoys). This song builds on Jesus Saves and how we need to proclaim God’s love to all. We need to be ‘Not Ashamed’ of the Gospel and what that all entails. We need to be willing to go to the uttermost at all costs to self to spread the good news.
The third song is “The Way” co-written by Jeremy’s sister-in-law’s husband and a couple of other guys. This builds on the previous tracks stating that Jesus is the way and proclaiming praise to God that He sent His Son Jesus and to have God be glorified in all ways as Jesus is the only way into Heaven. The choir in the song was recorded in South Africa in the town where Jeremy’s wife Adie is from. The choir adds a dimension to the song that helps the powerfulness of it just expand. God will definitely be glorified through this song.
The fourth song is “Mighty to Save”. It’s a song that I heard in church before I had ever heard song professionally. I like the message of the song that it states God’s power and how Jesus has that power. When I heard 2 professional version, it didn’t feel quite the same. When I initially heard Jeremy sing it live I had the same impression. Then I heard the studio version and a whole new dynamic came with it. I think what helps is the songs around it jut work with it both musically as well as in the message adding to what I liked about it when I first heard it nearly 3 years ago.
The fifth song is “We Cry Out”. It is a fist pumping song that is brings together the dynamics of “Not Ashamed, “Jesus Saves” and “The Way” into 1 song. Jesus is the only way and will be glorified as we let the world know about Him and His ways. I have had he acoustic version for a few weeks and have enjoyed playing it. I recommend listening to both the plugged in and acoustic versions. They offer 2 different dynamics to the same song and both can help getting a person into praise and worship of the 1 True God.
The sixth song is “You Are the Lord”. Total worship fest in a little less than 4.5 minutes. It gives some attributes of Jesus in terms of His title. It is a great reminder to all of us.
The seventh song is “Everlasting God”. Yes this is the same song that Lincoln Brewster recorded some years back and yes there will be differences. The biggest one is the voice behind the mic. The song is just as awesome. It’s your preference if you want a tenor singing it or a baritone (give me both).
The eighth song is “Overcome”. This was originally recorded by Desperation Band and would be 12 minutes long. Jeremy manages to get it down to 8 minutes and it doesn’t feel like 8 minutes. The song is worth every bit of the 8 minutes and would probably be worth every bit of the 12 min Desperation Band version. God showed up at the studio during the recording of this song and it shows on the recording. The song is that powerful. It speaks of Jesus’ purpose for existing. Be prepared to have tissue ready.
The ninth song is “You Never Let Go”. I like Matt Redman’s version of his song. I’ve also heard Jeremy’s live version of the chorus to this song a number of times. The full version does not disappoint. It is about keeping our eyes focused on God because He said that He would never leave us nor forsake us. It seems to work with Jeremy’s songs “Walk By Faith” and “I Still Believe”. God will always be there for us. We just need to believe in Jesus as our savior to be able to spend eternity with Him.
The tenth song is “Unrestrained”. When I first heard the song in the wee hours of Thursday morning, I was crying by the end of it. It got me more than “Overcome” and that one is powerful. It’s all about letting God get us out of His way so that He can do what He wants in us and through us. It reminds me of the worship version of the message in “Take My Life”, “Lay Down My Pride”, and “Give You All Control”. The chorus: “So take this selfish heart of mine/I want to give it all/I’ve wasted too much time/And melt away everything that’s not of You/I want to know You more/So much deeper than I do/Completely unrestrained” It is very convicting…Now to let God have control which is easier said than done.
The eleventh song is “King Jesus”. The title doesn’t exactly say it all, but it comes close. It’s all about Jesus and the victory that occurred at the cross. The intro of it reminds me of Jars of Clay song that I’ve heard for a few years and I never remember the name of that song.
If you get the deluxe edition, there is a twelfth studio track titled “Magnify”. It’s a nice moderate tempo piece. It’s also about giving God the glory in all things.
The thing I notice in this album, whether it is a standard studio track or one of the unplugged versions that the deluxe edition has, the songs are all about worshiping God and giving Him the glory regarding His various attributes or characteristics. I would definitely recommend this for anyone that wants to more fully worship the One True God in all of His amazing awesomeness. And for those who like to rock to Jeremy Camp…It’s still possible to do so. It’s Rockin’ Worship at its finest!
If I had to pick a favorite track off the album, it would be all of them. I know God is going to use each one at some point or other to teach me more about Him in various aspects even if that means getting into better worship of Him which I need.
Jeremy-Thanks for following God’s leading in doing this album. Its definitely not about you and totally about giving God the Glory and raising our voices and shouting it out from every high and low place we are at.
So now it’s time for all of us to raise a collective shout about how awesome Jesus is and why He is the answer for anything and everything regarding how we are to live our lives.