"Blasphemy!" That may be the cry when readers, especially Jeremy Camp fans, see the rating on his newest "worship project" release, We Cry Out. A simple reading of the track list will hint at the generic nature of the album; one listen will cement it. Camp follows the traditional "worship music" formula on his second full-length studio worship album by going with simple song titles that are repeated endlessly in the lyrics throughout the album. This shouldn't fall completely on Camp's shoulders though, as he did not write all of tracks.
The album starts with the song "Jesus Saves," which is not a revised version of the classic hymn. This pop/rock song will be in constant rotation on your local CHR station. I've already heard it in Chick-fil-a, so get prepared to hear this one over and over again. There is nothing extraordinary or profound about the song or music; it repeats the simple truth, "Jesus saves," for the entire song.
"Not Ashamed" (not a Newsboys cover) and is sadly the album's lone highlight. Camp brings more pop/rock to the table with the heaviest rock song on the album. The song is extremely catchy and you will catch yourself singing the lyrics, "Not ashamed of the gospel, not ashamed of Jesus Christ; I will stand and boldly say that THIS IS MY LIFE." Skip ahead two tracks and your tone with change to "Really, this song again?"
Yes, "Mighty to Save" is on this album as well. The song was released in 2006 by Hillsong and has been covered by over 20 artists (stopped counting after I reached 20 on iTunes), most recently by Michael W. Smith, Seventh Day Slumber, and Newsboys. Camp's version sounds much like everyone else's and leaves you wishing you could have heard a new song here instead.
The title track, "We Cry Out" and "Everlasting God" make you think you are listening to Passion or Hillsong instead, and seem a far cry from Camp's normal style. There seems to be a turn for the better as "Overcome" begins. The track is an acoustic driven anthem about the things that Jesus overcame. You can feel yourself getting into the song and even coming to a true sense of worship; then the song goes on, and on, and on. By the time the 8-minute plus track has finished, you have to wonder why such a long song wasn't left as the album closer. It feels misplaced and overlong as it is.
The album ends with a fairly solid track, "Unrestrained," and the most generic sounding song, "King Jesus." The former is a softer song featuring light electric guitars with a nice feel to it. The music and the lyrics of the latter just feel that they have all done before in every other worship album or popular worship song. This album might have gained a touch be ending with "Unrestrained" instead; maybe it would take some of the overall disenchantment of the album away.
It's sad that "worship" has become a genre of music, a means of making money for record labels, and less about its true meaning. You are much more likely to hear, "Did you get the new (Insert popular CCM artist here) worship album?," or "I love worship music," rather than "I really felt the presence of the Lord surround me during worship." As said before, you will find nothing new here on Jeremy Camp's latest. The album is no more than a continuation of what artists like Third Day, Newsboys, Casting Crowns, Passion, and even Jeremy Camp himself has done before. Though it's painful to say, We Cry Out, is nothing more than a generic, canned "worship project" that will serve as filler until his next full-length album releases.
Just to be sure the review was not being overly critical, I asked a big Jeremy Camp fan's opinion on the album: They turned the album off during "Overcome" and never finished listening. If you are a Camp fan or of "worship" music, you will probably find a little enjoyment in the record, but if you don't fall into one of those categories, you are going to want to stay away.
- Review date: 8/18/10, written by Michael Weaver of Jesusfreakhideout.com