Jeremy Camp’s I Will Follow was easily one of my most anticipated and hopeful releases of the year, mainly because I was ready for an amazing album after Reckless, which was, well, a letdown. As I pulled up the stream on my computer, I was ready for the best Camp album since Speaking Louder Than Before. So is it better than Reckless?
The answer to that question is a resounding yes! But with that said, it still harbors some of the previous album’s flaws.
The album opens with Living Word. The first time through, it was pretty average, but a couple more listens revealed quite a catchy opening number that I actually found myself singing to. That’s always a good sign. Another song I didn’t think was very good upon first listen was the single, He Knows. But I really like it in the context of the album itself, and though it’s not the best song you’re bound to hear all year, it’s one of Jeremy’s best since We Cry Out and I believe it’s one of the strongest on the album.
What Camp throws at us next is something truly special: Finally Home. At first listen I admit I had a ridiculous grin plastered on my face. I just love this song, and I think it’s not only the best on I Will Follow, but the best song since the songs on Beyond Measure. As fans remember, Reckless also had a Heaven based song in Paradise, but Finally Home blows it out of the water, to be cliche.
While I hate to focus on the negatives of an album, I Will Follow does show off some weak points here and there. While I love the idea of Jeremy belting out a southern rock song similar to Third Day and Needtobreathe, those kind of songs just don’t work well on this album, especially as it’s filled with pop tunes, so they just stick out of the crowd. Only in You suffers from an uninteresting and repetitive chorus, and Same Power isn’t very memorable either.
Even though the music may be sub par in places, the lyrics have a lot more positive aspects to them. Christ In Me is a favourite of mine lyrically with a chorus that cries, So come and empty me so that it’s you I breathe I want my life to be only Christ in me. Here I Am is a touching song on surrender, and you can really hear it in Camp’s voice as he sings to be taken deeper in love with Christ.
Overall, I Will Follow is definitely an improvement from Reckless, but unfortunately is still bares that sheen that saturates most CCM albums. But while similar albums can give off a fake vibe in their execution, you can tell Jeremy means each and every word he sings, and that’s one of the reasons that makes Jeremy one of the best in the business. He’s not using the name of Jesus as a marketing tool or as something for His own gain, he truly feels what he says and it shows.
So for fans of Jeremy Camp, this is a good addition to the collection; for those who aren’t interested in him, this album isn’t going to change your mind, but it’s worth a listen either way. And for me, it has given me hope that maybe we will see another amazing album similar in quality to his earlier works in the future.