|LABEL: BEC Recordings|
SPECIAL EFFECT(S): Newcomer Jeremy Camp sings like Creed's Scott Stapp and strums like Dave Matthews, but it's his real-life story of heartbreak-turned-to-hope that makes this debut most compelling.
PRODUCER(S): Adam Watts, Andy Dodd
There's a back-story with new rock artist Jeremy Camp that is inseparable from a critique of his debut album, Stay. At 24, he is a widow, having lost his young wife to ovarian cancer last year soon after they married. That painful experience drives the extremes of Camp's first project, making the musical fury and lyrical faith displayed here vividly raw and real.
Camp comes from California by way of Indiana, and his creative influences follow that map. There's a grungy West Coast mosh pit spirit to "One Day at a Time" right alongside the pining midwestern mid-tempo melody on "Right Here." Consistently thoughtful, unpredictable guitar playing influenced by Dave Matthews Band, Goo Goo Dolls, etc. unifies and refreshes the two approaches. Vocally, Camp growls like Creedís frontman, but his falsetto and credible intensity save him from outright copycat remarks.
Stay is foremost exceptional for the spiritual wisdom it imparts from one so young. With "Walk by Faith," written on his honeymoon, and "I Still Believe," penned after his wife's funeral, Camp's simple-yet-halting words filter heartbreak and hope through the ultimately healing God Who's still worthy of the worship given with "In Your Presence."
Although it isn't an easy, breezy listen, Jeremy Campís debut is relevant, catchy, compelling, and comparable to other from-the-gut guitar-based acts currently climbing the charts like Our Lady Peace and Avril Lavigne. To that end, Stay could really go somewhere.