Jeremy Camp released When You Speak last week (Sept. 24), his 13th album that takes a sudden departure from his normal fare with blistering guitar solos, head-banging chords and lots of swearing throughout the 13-song 45 minute record.
I guess COVID eventually gets the best of us.
OK, totally kidding. In fact, quite the opposite for the Christian singer/songwriter who serves a relaxing dish of contemporary music with some softer rock rounded out with a push of arena rock and a little hip hop for flavor but the greater emphasis placed on the lyrics. Camp doesn’t struggle for inspiration either as When You Speak keeps up an excellent pace of new music released about every two years starting with his debut in 2000.
If you don’t know, Camp has a rather touching yet heart-wrenching life story as documented in 2020’s I Still Believe which recounts his wife’s harrowing experience with cancer. (When You Speak is not a timestamp of those events or soundtrack from the movie.) Regardless of your personal faith in God, the movie is well-done and worth your time if not just for the love story. No spoiler alert here but do expect to shed a tear. You will also gain significant respect for Camp whether or not you dig his style.
Now for the music…
Jeremy Camp fans and Christian music fans will rightly gobble this one up. When You Speak is a pleasant spin, and no, no hard or heavy rock on this one but Camp does incorporate the best of what you hear in artists like Imagine Dragons and TobyMac in this full and complete effort.
Jeremy Camp When You Speak Review
When You Speak successfully intermixes songs of hope and resilience with tracks addressing the downcast and dejected. More fun and hip pop gets When You Speak moving with “Can’t Take Away” making use of that popular arena rock sound, and the catchy “You See Me.” The slow and poignant “Getting Started” offers you a first look at the heart tuggers on this album especially with these lyrics: “To anyone who ever lost your way / To everyone who ever felt ashamed / Here’s a song for all the broken hearted I believe you’re only getting started.”
Good rhythms and rhymes in the adult contemporary “One Desire” but the slower “Steady Me” makes a quick turn back to those searching for meaning before Camp picks the pace back up with the uplifting and catchy title track that sounds like a TobyMac signature.
“No Rain” speaks to everybody, eventually, with lyrics like “How’s a garden ever supposed to grow if there ain’t no rain / How am I ever going to learn how to feel if there ain’t no pain / If I never fall if I never break how can my heart change” all wrapped up in one of the best and melodious tracks on the album.
Jeremy Camp returns to his essence though for the next five songs tipping the scales heavily back to a cheerful spirit with the straight up contemporary Christian pop song “Here With You,” big and bold sonics along with clever lyrical rhyming in “What Love Has Done,“ the moving “Break Your Promises” (yes, despite the name), another contemporary Christian pop song in “Consumed” and the great anthem rocker, a la Imagine Dragons, “Anxious Heart.”
But perhaps saving the best for last, the forlorn but stellar “This Too Shall Pass” has an emotional draw remindful of Coldplay’s “Fix You” and you get the idea just on the song name in this likely tough listen if you’re going through one of life’s events. Great vocals that pierce at times.
Sometimes emotional, often catchy and always inspirational, When You Speak has Jeremy Camp singing well, resembling at times Jeffrey Osborne of “On the Wings of Love” fame, but more importantly speaking with unfettered boldness.
Jeremy Camp When You Speak Songs:
- Can’t Take Away
- You See Me
- Getting Started
- One Desire
- Steady Me
- When You Speak
- No Rain
- Here With You
- What Love Has Done
- Break Your Promises
- Anxious Heart
- This Too Shall Pass