Jeremy Camp is a 24-year-old Indiana-bred man who has already come a long way in life. With a testimony to break the hardest of hearts, Camp offers up Faith-based modern rock to encourage and lift up listeners. The story Camp often shares with his audiences began just a couple of years ago when he met a young girl named Melissa in college in California and began dating her. After four months, she broke up with him and he went on tour across the country playing music he wrote. It wasn't long before Jeremy received a call that Melissa was in the hospital with ovarian cancer. He was amazed by the joy she had and the love for God that still remained despite her illness. Five months later, the two married but she didn't live but a few more months before going to be with the Lord in February of 2001. "Watching Melissa go to Heaven made me realize what's important," states Camp in a recent bio. "Music is not my life. Christ is my life. The only thing that really matters is what we do for Jesus on this Earth, and as a result of what I've been through, I express even more the goodness of God and how faithful He is." The first song Jeremy wrote following her death was "I Still Believe," a worshipful proclamation of faith that is included on his debut solo album, Stay.
Citing influences by artists such as Dave Matthews, Goo Goo Dolls, Matchbox 20, Pearl Jam, and Creed, Camp delivers a solid modern rock album with Stay, although musically it isn't all that much different from what is already out there. However, what saves Stay from disappearing into the stacks of cookie cutter modern rock albums is its lyrical content. Camp is honest with his feelings and has penned a set of encouraging songs that are only enhanced by the testimony he shares. While vocally Camp can easily be compared to artists like Creed or the many Creed-like bands, he can most appropriately be compared to that of the mainstream band Nickelback, which is evident immediately with the opening track "Understand." The rock ballad "Right Here," is another encouraging realization for Camp as he cries, "Everywhere I go, I know you're not far away, you're right here." "Take My Life" is a catchy harder-rocking tune that serves as a definite album highlight, showcasing Camp's powerful vocals. The album's title track is also another highlight where the Nickelback comparison is most evident.
Although musically Jeremy Camp's debut album Stay might not be all that different from most mainstream modern rock acts today, it serves as a definite alternative as Camp offers worshipful and encouraging lyrics relevant to anyone struggling through life's trials. Camp is a quality artist with clearly much to offer. Make sure you give Stay a listen on September 24th.- Review date: 9/21/02, written by John DiBiase
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