August 30th, 2010
09:00 AM ET
While recording the bridge of the song "Overcome" on his new album, Christian music singer Jeremy Camp says he was literally overcome.
He had to stop when he got to these words:
Camp said he was overcome by what he said was God's presence in the studio. In the booth, he could see his producer and his father with hands raised.
"I just started breaking down," he said by phone recently. "I couldn't sing any more, and we were all just like, 'Did you feel that?'"
"I started really thinking about what I was singing, and thinking of scripture. ... And I was just like, man, this is a God that we serve. We will, through him, by what he's done, and through his blood, overcome."
He said that what you hear on the new CD, "We Cry Out," (BEC Recordings) is largely that take, and that he had to return later to record the chorus.
During concerts, Camp still takes the time to speak to the audience. He recently did a show after Colorado Rockies game in which many of the 30,000 fans stayed to hear him play.
He told the crowd, "We're in this together. Let's walk this together encouraged by what Christ has done."
The new album, his second worship CD, was released last week. The songs are a mix of originals and well-known praise songs that spoke to him, he said, including "Overcome."
He took the opportunity to play with his road band, something he has not done on a studio album before. It gave the songs more of a spontaneous feel. When he struggled with a song, having the group together brought more ideas into the creative process.
Camp worked with several co-writers on the originals, including Jon Egan, who helped pen "Not Ashamed." (Egan also wrote "Overcome.")
That song is one that stands out among critics, not all of whom loved the album, though his previous effort, "Speaking Louder Than Before," was nominated for a Grammy.
Jesus freak Hideout gives "We Cry Out" just 2 and half stars out of 5, saying it is "nothing more than a generic, canned 'worship project' that will serve as filler until his next full-length album releases" and calling "Not Ashamed" the "lone highlight."
Other reviews are kinder. GMClife says: "Kudos to Camp for not making a “filler” project, but rather recording an album of authentic substance that is a nice addition to his already impressive discography."
If you're a die-hard Camp fan, you'll probably enjoy the CD.
Camp says that the chance to work with songwriters like Reuben Morgan, Matt Maher, Brenton Brown, Egan and brother-in-law Brad Peens showed him that sometimes it is better to not be introspective.
"Sometimes the simplicity of just declaring who God is and the greatness of who He is ... sometimes you just have to say it. That's exactly what it is," Camp said.
Camp also said that he feels God's presence in his music. He told the story of how a friend once said to him, "Jeremy, all your songs I love, but there are certain songs where I just go, 'That was all God.'"
Camp says that the songs that are all him are usually scratched from a record because he can tell it was him trying to write a song just to write a song.
"I feel like the ones on the record are ones that He inspired me to write," Camp said.
He said going back to his worship roots has refreshed him. He calls the past few years a "growth spurt" in his spiritual journey and says he feels more excited about music than at any point in his decade-long career.
"I've had people ask me 'Why didn't you maybe try to go and push more the mainstream thing than doing this, why didn't you try something new?' But I really felt like the Lord led my heart to do a worship album," he said. "I listen to the record and I think, yeah, these are the songs that God laid on my heart, and I really felt like I worshiped while I was singing."
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