In 2002, Jeremy Camp took the nation by storm with his pop melodies, rock n' roll hooks, and sometimes Creed-esque vocals. Over the course of three years, he has released three successful chart topping albums (one of which is a worship project), has won a pair of Dove Awards, garnered 8 #1 singles, and sold over 300,000 units combined between all three albums. For 2005, Camp decided to release a project that very few rock artists and bands are able to successfully pull off, which is a live and unplugged album.
Filmed and recorded in Franklin, TN, this album features Jeremy Camp performing past and current favorites in a more intimate and relaxed surrounding. Due to the fact that the album was recorded entirely live, the opportunity for professional sound quality might have easily been slim to none, but the quality is very crisp and smooth throughout. All of the songs here are turned into acoustic compositions and, for all practical purposes, either improve those songs' originality or fail to do the studio versions justice. Regardless, the vocals are more sensible to the listener and blend well with the new versions.
Tracks like the more piano-driven take of "Right Here" and the slightly mellower, percussion-tinged version of "Take You Back" are executed beautifully. Though it's not that different from the version that appeared on Stay, the new, stripped-down feel of "Walk By Faith" is more passionate than ever before. What surprised me was the fact that two of Jeremy Camp's heavier songs ("Stay" and "Restored") were added on this project mainly because the songs' tempos are slowed down heavily and are more worship-oriented. However, the new take on "Restored" actually sounds better as a soft rock track rather than an upbeat, contemporary number. A piano lead-in along with violin accompainment accentuates "My Desire" this time around, and actually features backing vocals by Camp's wife Adrienne (Liesching) Camp. Like all concert events, this particular show would not be complete without an appropriate closer. Jeremy ends the evening with "This Man," which is very powerful lyrically, but with the abscence of a well-crafted orchestration as featured on the song's studio version, it unfortunately does not turn out as successfully this time around.
In retrospect, Jeremy Camp's Live >> Unplugged >> Franklin, TN is an album that one might have easily expected to strictly be a fan project, but technically it is. Even though it may not give the listener an actual feel for a true live concert experience, it delves deep into the artist's passion for pure and honest worship. This album displays worship as it was meant to be - impactful, compassionate, thought-provoking, and true.- Review date: 11/13/05, written by Paul Portell
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