Prime Cuts: Same Power, He Knows, I Will Follow (You Are with Me)
Three singles deep already, now Capital Records has finally released Camp's most anticipated new release "I Will Follow." Every single that has come out of the chute prepping for the album's release has been eagerly devoured by radio and fans. In fact, at the time of writing, Camp's "He Knows" has already crack top 10 on Billboard's Hot Christian Songs chart. And it looks like there's no stopping "He Knows" from cracking top 5. If you have taken a fancy to Camp's radio singles hitherto, you'll love this new release. Just like the singles, every track here is power jammed with gigantic hooks and big anthemic-sounding chorus that will get those who like their Christian songs on the pop-rock side a la Matthew West and Casting Crowns elated with bliss.
"I Will Follow" is the follow-up to Camp's 2012 "Reckless," where the album produced the #5 hit "My God." While "Reckless" was a more avant garde rock detour, "I Will Follow" is more a mainstream pop-rock affair. Partly responsible for the album's direction is producer Seth Mosley (for King and Country, Stellar Kart & Michael W. Smith). Easily the buzz song on the album is "Same Power." An infectious ballad that starts off soft but explodes with a God-towering chorus, the song speaks of how the same power God used to raise Jesus from the dead is alive in us. Lyrically, the song charts no new ground as it has a strong affinity to Hillsong's "You Are Here (The Same Power)." But vocally, Camp is so immersed in the song that it is so contagious that makes you want to worship along. "Same Power" is easily one of Camp's best performance caught on tape.
"He Knows," the current charting single, celebrates God's sovereignty in the midst of our sufferings with a thundering chorus created by crashing drum and guitar riffs. Though Camp doesn't offer any fresh insights into the issue of theodicy, it's still a comfort to be assured that "he knows every hurt and every sting." Up the ante in terms of its heavy-handed dealings with the guitar is "Living Word." Somehow reminisce of Brandon Heath's current single "No Turning Back," the title cut "I Will Follow (You Are With Me)" which features a sonic fest of pounding electric drum sounds. "We are the Dreamers" puts to music God's dream for the world to live under his reign, but the song is let down by its militant beats and its mundane sounding chorus.
If there's another thing to gripe about, it's in the percussion department. The edgy electric drum sound somehow gets in the way, drowning out the melody of "Here I Am," a ballad that cries out for a simpler backing. And this again is the problem to "Til the End." While "Can't Be Moved" sounds like a cheer-leading chant that veers on the side of irritation. "I Will Follow" is by no means perfect: at times it strives too hard to be relevant and contemporary. Yet, it's not without its merits, "Same Power" alone is a pristine gem.
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