Jeremy Camp: Reckless, Album Review

JeremyCampReckless

Jeremy Camp is easily one my favourite artists in the CCM (Contemporary Christian Music) genre, with his amazing albums including Stay and Restored. And now, in the beginning of next year, Camp is releasing a new album titled, I Will Follow. So I thought I’d go back and look at his previous record, Reckless, and the musical direction he has taken over the years.

Camp began as a rock singer with his album, Stay. To this day it remains his most hard hitting album, both musically, and emotionally, even getting close to metal with his song Take My Life. Easily my favourite album out of Camp’s career. His later albums and everything after that until Speaking Louder than Before were good, but didn’t exceed the greatness of Stay, and slowly but surely, the rock sound began do disappear.

One thing to note is that Camp has never really been an original artist. His music brings clear comparisons with other Christian and secular rock artists, even in his early days, except he did it the best. But those comparisons have turned from artists such as Creed and Matchbox Twenty, to Christian artists Chris Tomlin and Tim Hughes. Unfortunately, in my opinion, neither of those Christian artists bring anything original to the table.

With Reckless, Camp has turned to the genre nearly every Christian rock artist has conformed to, and that’s Worship (yes, it’s a genre). And like much of the worship out there, musically, it’s all done before. With Reckless, Camp has forsaken all that has made him brilliant in the past, and has turned to mediocrity. You won’t find any hard hitting emotional tracks like I Still Believe or Walk By Faith, neither will you find hard rock songs like Take My Life or Breathe. Keyboard has taken the lead, and it all sounds overproduced and gleamed over with a plastic, polished finish.

The album begins with a trilogy of up tempo numbers with Reckless, The Way You Love Me, and Free. While these songs are okay, they’re mostly forgettable, especially Free. While I was hoping for one of those amazing Camp ballads with Paradise, it quickly turned into another up tempo worship number in the chorus.

We Must Remember is one of my favourites off the record, and is a definite highlight. It begins slowly, building to a magnificent climax. It’s about remembering what Christ did for us and our position in Him.

The record then, unfortunately, spirals back down with Shine, Come Alive, and My God. Lyrically passionate, musically bland and without a lot of depth, often relying on overdone worship cliches to carry them along.

But without a doubt, the record ends on its highest note with Without You. A song of pure surrender and devotion. I felt a bit of the passion that was felt with Stay on this song, and I often times come back to this and We Must Remember.

Over the years, I’m sad to report that Camp has declined, and Reckless is probably the weakest of his discography yet. But what hasn’t declined is his passion for God, and that’s one of the reasons Camp is such a highlight in the CCM genre. He’s doing it for God, not for a label, not for money, and not for fame, for the glory of God.

Overall, this album will, and has, appealed to the masses and to fans of Chris Tomlin and the likes, but for those who want a little more artistry and depth will want to look elsewhere.

2/5

In addition, after listening to the new single off the up-coming album, He Knows, I have to say it sounds completely in the same vein as this album. In fact, I actually thought it was a song off Reckless when listening to it.  If this is the musical direction Camp wishes to pursue, I respect him and pray that more and more people will be touched by it, but for me, I might have to jump out of the camp. It’s sad, because I know he is capable of so much more.

Advertisements

17 thoughts on “Jeremy Camp: Reckless, Album Review

  1. Did you say you might have to jump out of the…camp? Haha. In this single review, you’ve summarized my disillusionment with too many Christian musicians. I think it’s a bummer that “CCM” and “Worship” are genres of their own. They were never meant to be separate styles.

    1. Completely agree, it’s sad where the worship scene is going today. It’s more like a business than an actual response of the heart. Especially with all the unnecessary albums Hillsong and Bethel live are producing. Bethel has put out three this year alone! Anyway, thanks for commenting, and God bless!

      1. I have never been a fan of Hillsong, but I have soft spot for Bethel as I have followed them since the beginning. I think their studio albums are still pretty fresh (The Loft Sessions still… remains… one of my favorite worship albums of all time), but I could care less for their live albums or any of the Jesus Culture productions. I completely get what you’re saying about the “worship business.” That’s a problem I have with the arts industry in general: it shouldn’t be an industry. People shouldn’t express themselves for the specific purpose of making money. If money comes in, great. But that shouldn’t be the focus. *steps off soapbox*

      2. I have listened to the Loft Sessions, and it is pretty good. But like you, I’m not a fan of live worship. I don’t know, it just doesn’t seem as genuine and heartfelt when it’s live, especially when you hear the crowd cheering out like the musicians are the stars. In the studio, it’s just them and God and it feels more heartfelt. Just my thoughts.
        God bless.

  2. Actually I loved his Reckless album. Must be personal opinion! But I do give him a 4-5/5 instead of a 2. I mean come on mate. Give him just a bit higher of a score. But as I said before, must have been personal opinion. And plus I thought the “he knows” song was great too. Can’t wait for the next album to come out. I am probably buy it straight away. But thank you for the review, I really enjoyed it. PURE HONESTY! God Bless and can’t wait for the next post.

    1. Thanks mate, glad you enjoyed the review! Believe me, I really didn’t want to give him a low score, in fact I would have loved to have given him a four, but as a reviewer, I can’t let my biased taste get in the way, and I honestly think Reckless is pretty weak. But it’s great we share different opinions, it’s what makes music so exciting. The best example of this is Thousand Foot Krutch’s Oxygen Inhale. A lot of places gave that album a 2 (one place even gave it a one) whilst I gave it a 4.5/5. And I’ll definitely listen to Jeremy’s new record. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t at least a bit excited. But if it’s going to be Reckless number 2, I might have to pass it up.
      Here’s how I rate all of Jeremy’s albums (since we’re big fans, it’ll be cool to look at each album)
      Stay: 4.5/5
      Carried Me:3.5/5
      Restored:4/5
      Beyond Measure: 4/5
      Speaking Louder than Before: 4.5/5 (a lot say that album was mediocre, but I really like it)
      We Cry Out:3.5/5
      Reckless: 2/5
      What’s your rating on each album? We can have a good discussion on our favourites!
      God bless!

      1. Stay: 5/5
        Carried Me: 3.5/5
        Restored: 4/5
        Beyond Measure: 5/5
        Speaking Louder than Before: 4.5/5 ( I have actually been listening a lot to that one. One of my favorites really)
        We Cry Out: 4/5
        Reckless: 10/5 (I changed my mind!) BOOM! There you go, that’s mine. Hope you sort of agree.

  3. Haha, that’s a great list! I completely agree with Stay, Carried Me, Restored, Speaking Louder…. and We Cry Out (Overcome just never gets old!) Not with Reckless though, haha! Glad you enjoy it though, hope his newest is good.
    God bless mate!

  4. Thank you Lucas for your review, it was very well written. I myself was considering buying this album when I got home… awkward… 🙂 It led me to think… “Why do I want to buy this cd?”
    Is it because the music sounds nice or the singer’s voice is good? This should not be our MOTIVATION to buy an album!
    So Lucas, thank you once again. Also, it is …”customary” I suppose to dissect an album or song when reviewing, but the holy spirit guides us and teaches us, so that we may discern what is pure and right. I have a feeling that in the near future, the majority of Christian music will be filled with songs that are focused on US. How many songs in the average album are focussed on “how we feel” or “what we want” or “what will we do.” There are few songs in my book that are uplifting God when singing about themselves!
    God bless, CJR Odyssey

    1. Thanks CJR! Don’t get me wrong, in no way am I saying you shouldn’t buy Reckless, if you like it, by all means 🙂 My review is just my opinion, and in my opinion it’s what I call, “sugar rush music.” I loved Reckless the first time I heard because I was so excited for a new Jeremy Camp album back then (I had only become a fan not too long before) but after a week, I was honestly completely bored with it.
      “I have a feeling that in the near future, the majority of Christian music will be filled with songs that are focused on US.”
      Completely spot on! Worship has become, “Look what the Lord has done for us,” instead of, “Look how amazing God is!” Not that the message of God saving us isn’t something we shouldn’t sing about, we should, but in a session of worship I don’t think it’s needed. I think we can figure out what the best worship is if we imagine ourselves at God’s feet in the throne room. I doubt we’ll be singing, “Lord, you’ve saved me and blessed me,” and all the other me’s you can think of. We’ll be singing, “We worship YOU. We Glorify YOU. We Magnify YOU.”
      But with all of this, like I said before, worship shouldn’t be a genre of music, but a lifestyle, and it doesn’t have to be worship to be anointed, or even a certain musical genre. It just has to be from the heart, to the Lord.
      Anyway, sorry about the rave on 🙂 Stay tuned for the next review in a few days. I’ll be reviewing an album that truly is throne room worship. So if you want to buy an album, wait until then 🙂
      God bless mate!

  5. Far out, it must be good. haha. I do agree, I listened to a song that was about being blessed and risen from the devil, which is fine in my eyes. But it just seemed like the whole song was evolved around them. You know. But thank you for this post review, now I have a better insight on Christian music. But I just might need your help in finding some music that is actually God magnifying. Thank you for your wise words Luc man. YOU ARE BLESSED, but at least you don’t rave on about it. haha. God Bless.

    1. I’ve already listened to that mate (you can’t show me any music I don’t already know, haha!) and I do say, it’s pretty good.
      Thanks for reading mate, and God bless!

    1. Haha, only a little bit 😉
      As a side, with all this talk of music, I think I might have to publish the new review today. After that, it’s back to the Armor of God. Might even write two today. I’m really ahead with the final days of school (more raving!), so I think I’ll spend some of the day writing on here.

Comments are closed.