Album review: Reckless by Jeremy Camp
Jeremy Camp is back (not that he really “left” since he released a Christmas album a few months ago) with a new album called Reckless. It was produced by Camp and Andy Dodd who has worked with Miley Cyrus, Jonas Brothers and the Plain White Ts.
Reckless is Jeremy Camp’s seventh studio album and it needs a warning label because it just might inspire listeners to surrender everything, even the things never thought they could give up.
Just like those who listen to this album, Camp was in a position of having to surrender all. About a year ago when he felt God ask him, “Are you willing to surrender everything?” For him, “everything” was music. God brought him to a place where he could give up making music.
“Not that it wouldn’t be a challenge,” said Camp, “but I wouldn’t be devastated because this is not my life. Christ is my life.”
This challenge led Camp to record Reckless. Reckless follows the theme of living a life that is lived in total submission to God.
Reckless is the 11-song soundtrack for believers, who have picked up their cross and have decided to no longer conform to the pattern of this world.
Reckless opens with its title track, Reckless. It is an incredible album opener though songs about surrendering to God most times are always slow and subtle, but here Jeremy just sings in an energetic manner and with a tone that set a level of assurance that indeed we should live reckless for Christ.
It’s an upbeat rock song about living recklessly for God. Camp uses the life of the Apostle Paul to explain the concept of recklessness.
In Acts 14, Paul returns to Lystra to share the gospel, a city where he had been stoned and left for dead just days before. Though it sounds crazy that Paul would return to a place like that, as Camp explains, it’s more reckless than crazy, and there’s a difference.
“[Paul] wasn’t being crazy for crazy’s sake, saying ‘I don’t care what’s going to happen. I just want to go.’ No, when you feel God calling you to do something, you have to be obedient. And that’s the difference. Paul was just obedient. That’s what reckless is.”
Next, Jeremy Camp lifts his voice to proclaim the way that God loves us in The Way You Love.
This is a powerful song which will do amazing on the Christian music charts. The Way You Love Me is a declaration of that love for him, as the worshipful and punchy chorus say, “So I will lift the broken words / Show the world how you love me / How you love me.” It’s one of the best songs on the album by far.
Regardless of how broken and how sinful our nature is, God loves us and that is the message that Jeremy Camp shares in this marvelous song.
It was inspired by a moment when one of Camp’s daughters demonstrated this reaction when she asked her father one day, out of the blue, “Is there anything that I can do for you that I’ve never done before that will make you happy?” Camp looked at her and said, “You don’t have to do anything to make me happy. You make me happy.”
Camp heard the lesson God was teaching him through that moment. Just like his daughter knew he loved her, so do we know God loves us and that’s why we should desire to please Him–Out of love and not out of obligation.
Jeremy belts out what I call a freedom song in Free, Jeremy sings about being set free by God from the chains that held him captive. It’s a great song with the audacious message about freedom that comes only from Jesus.
There way he sings “I am Freeeeeee” powerfully hits home and takes me back to Desperation Band and their song, “I Am Free.”
If you want to hear a song about heaven, listen to Paradise. In Paradise, Camp takes us on a journey to a place in which all the righteous and faithful will eventually go. Until then, we just have to wholly surrender to God. Musically the chorus is the most appealing aspect of the song as I can imagine the crowd and people chanting “hallelujah hallelujah every knee will bow and sing…”
We Must Remember is a delightful reminder with a positive message that shines light on just how forgiving and perfect God is. It points out one majorly crucial thing –God doesn’t remember sins.
Shine is such an anthem! The drum rolls, the rhythmic guitars, the piano and Camp’s voice shine in this rock number. It’s a lovely song that calls God to shine in his light on us because we are his and intend to live our live inside His glory.
Struck by the solemn scene of a New York City street, Camp said, “It was like looking at the living dead. All they’re doing is living for their own desires. I want this world to come alive, to see that yes, you’re dead in your trespasses, but you have been made alive in Christ.” With powerful strings as a backdrop, the chorus of Come Alive builds, dramatically proclaiming, “You have restored us / You have redeemed us / We have been given new life / You are alive.”
Come Alive has such a terrific progression and vibe; it clearly stands out on Reckless.
My God is just remarkably adept. This lively song of exaltation has Jeremy jamming recklessly, yet humbly, to God’s glory. In this beautiful song Camp sings his heart out about victories that are only possible because of the unchanging powerful God.
Camp provides an example of the tangible way we show God’s love through the song We Need. The song resurrected something in me while listening to it.
This upbeat anthem encourages social justice, which is something with which Camp and his family are acutely familiar.
They support Compassion International and travel to places like Josiah’s House, a home for boys in the Dominican Republic, and New Hope Haiti Mission, a children’s home in Haiti. But Camp is quick to explain, “There are a lot of people doing social justice things, which is great. But we can’t just say, ‘Here’s some food. Here’s some stuff.’ We have to be able to give the gospel, share the hope and have a real heart for that.”
Reign In Me is one of the mellow songs on the album, the soft rock tune follows the theme of the album – of being reckless for God and letting God live in us, to use us and to reign in us.
Without You will be a Christian pop anthem if it is ever released. Without you is the message that every single Christian should always have at the back of their mind. With a strong melody, this song, strategically placed last, gives final instruction to listeners about how to surrender their lives to Christ: “I won’t make a move without you right by my side / I will wait for you to lead me to any place where you lead.”
The chorus reflects Camp’s main goal for this album. “My heart’s desire is that people will listen to the Lord and his leading,” he said, “and really dive into the fullness of what He’s called them to do, whatever that looks like.”The album is allegorical in context to a lot of its messages. Reckless displays sheer opulence musically and spiritually. The album also shows growth and consistency of Camp as an artist, pastor and songwriter.
In conclusion Reckless is a solid album; it is an ardent and inspiring album which affirms that Jeremy Camp is indeed one of the best contemporary Christian artist of our times.