Today's Praise: Jeremy Camp is a man with a mission
Singer Jeremy Camp is stoked.
"It’s an exciting time in my life. I haven’t been this exciting — ever. … I just feel like there’s a depth and there’s a real urgency with this record," Camp said of his new album "Speaking Louder Than Before."
The project — which debuted at No. 2 on Billboard’s Christian chart and No. 38 on its overall chart — uses an interesting combination of music and video devotionals as a call to action.
"It started off with the song ‘Speaking Louder Than Before,’" Camp said. "It started with my heart breaking for this generation."
Taking a cue from Jesus’ command to tell the world the good news, the title track conveys a sense of urgency as it prods "this generation" to show and tell about God’s love.
"It starts with loving people and serving people so there’s not this wall up," Camp said. "The truth speaks very loudly."
Camp points out that "everyone has a special testimony of the grace of God" that they can share. His own includes the loss of his first wife to cancer, his renewal and the joys of his later marriage to Adrienne and the births of their two daughters. These experiences have guided his music, which he sees as part of his mission.
"For me, as I’ve grown with my walk with the Lord, I’ve realized the platform that God has given me," the five-time Dove Award-winner said. "I’m using it as a platform to reach out and minister."
"Speaking Louder Than Before" is a little more musically diverse than Camp’s previous work. Some songs lean toward pop and others deliver a more epic feel, but the album also offers some stronger stuff.
"It’s definitely more driving than the rest of my records, a little more upbeat," Camp said. "Musically, I think we had some good growth."
Thematically, the joy-filled album describes different aspects of a relationship with the Lord. It starts with "Slow Down Time," which expresses the desire to spend more time with God. The rocking "Capture Me" describes receiving strength from him. "There Will Be a Day" looks forward to heaven, beyond the pain and trails of this life. The slower and more reflective "I Know Who I Am" admits to weakness. The upbeat "I’m Alive" offers joyous praise for a new life and forgiven past.
One of the best tracks is the autobiographical ballad "Healing Hand of God," which describes the Lord "reaching out and healing broken hearts."
The songs are accompanied by five- to seven-minute videos that feature Camp diving into Scripture and explaining the concepts behind the lyrics. The videos are included in the special double-disc and are also available for free download to those who buy the single disc.
Seeing Camp’s calm and engaging demeanor in the videos, it’s hard to believe you’re watching a desperate man with a mission. But that’s how Camp describes himself.
"Having seen our nation and what’s been going on … my heart’s been desperate," he said. "If we really understand the depth of what God has done, we have to tell the world."
Today’s Praise is a roundup of news and reviews from the contemporary Christian music industry.